A man watching television in his North Amityville home was struck Friday by a high-caliber bullet that burst from his television set after it was fired from a block away, authorities said.

The man, 82, was in his Harrison Avenue apartment when he was grazed by the bullet, which was fired from Coolidge Avenue, a block to the south, Suffolk police said.

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The bullet first went through a wall, pierced from the television and grazed the left side of the man's head, before piercing a second wall and lodging in the refrigerator door, said North Amityville Fire Department Chief John Harley, who helped direct rescue efforts.

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"It could have been bad had he been sitting an inch to his left," said Harley, who described the victim as alert and upbeat. "He is a very lucky man. God was definitely saying that was not the way he was going."

Rescuers stopped the bleeding and put a cold pack on his head, he said.

Police said the victim was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip for treatment of minor injuries.

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Detectives from the First Precinct continued their investigation Friday night in the area, where traffic cones on Coolidge Avenue marked 10 3-inch bullet casings on the sidewalk.