Blaze in Islip laundromat

An Islip laundromat burned Monday night after a suspected electrical fire spread to a pile of clothing, a fire chief said.

The fire at Islip Laundry, located on Main Street, started shortly before 8:16 p.m., but it had already closed for the day, said Islip Fire Chief Bill Stenger. It was declared under control at 8:39 p.m.

"We had to break in and make entry," he said.

Flames and smoke started at a fluorescent fixture light in the back of the business, he said.

"It probably melted and as it melted, it dropped hot embers onto clothing below it," Stenger said.

More than 60 firefighters from four departments fought the blaze. There were fears that the flames would spread to the vacant store and an apartment building east of the laundromat, the chief said, but the fire was contained.

Besides Islip, the firefighters came from East Islip, Islip Terrace and Bay Shore, he said. Exchange Ambulance of the Islips was also at the scene and treated a firefighter for a minor eye injury, Stenger said: "They were pulling ceiling so something must have fallen into his eye."

"I believe the laundromat from my estimate needs to be gutted and completely rebuilt," Stenger said. "Between the smoke and electrical fire, it's pretty well destroyed."

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