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.

"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.