Sandy-repaired home damaged in Long Beach fire

A Long Beach firefighter is hosed down after

A Long Beach firefighter is hosed down after responding to a house fire in Long Beach. (July 18, 2013) (Credit: Jim Staubitser)

Firefighters put out a blaze involving two Long Beach homes Thursday afternoon, including one where repairs from Sandy damage were being finished, Long Beach police said.

The fire appeared to start outside in the rear of an Armour Street home, said Lt. Eric Cregeen, a police spokesman.

"It was under construction, being repaired from hurricane Sandy," he said. "The family was two days away from moving back in."


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The two-story house sustained major damage in the fire and a shed in the rear was destroyed, said James Hickman, supervisor of the investigations division at the Nassau County fire marshal's office.

Flames spread to the house behind it, on Doyle Street, burning the fence between the two properties and damaging the siding on the house, Cregeen said.

No injuries were reported, authorities said.

The blaze was an accidental electrical fire, Hickman said, and investigators were trying to pinpoint the exact cause. The back of the house had several electrical components, including a power generator and electrical lines, he said.

No one had been living in the home during the repairs, but the house was almost ready for its residents to come back, Hickman said.

"They had just put in beautiful new appliances," he said.

A transformer burned in the fire, causing loss of power to a few homes, and will be replaced quickly, said Mark Gross, spokesman for the Long Island Power Authority. National Grid, which manages LIPA's network, did not have any indication that the transformer started the fire but officials are investigating, Gross said.

Firefighters from at least seven departments battled the heat from the weather and the flames for more than an hour.

At the same time, the tightly spaced homes on Long Beach made putting out the fire a challenge, Hickman said. The firefighters did a "great job" in keeping the blaze from spreading to more homes, he said.

Some major streets were closed, including Neptune Boulevard and East Chester Street.

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