Two unrelated fires caused major damage to several buildings in Nassau Thursday.
A family of four lost their home and all their possessions after a lightning strike set their Plainview house on fire. And a fire of undetermined origin burned about a dozen cabanas at a beach club in Atlantic Beach.
"At least no one was hurt," Debbie Edelstein of Plainview said Friday, as she was beginning the process of replacing some of the essentials her family lost in the blaze.
Edelstein was in her home on Roselle Court Thursday afternoon when she heard the sound and felt the concussion of a lightning strike. "Everybody in our area heard it," she said.
Edelstein said she ran outside, but initially saw no damage to her house. "We figured it had hit some place else," she said, but she was wrong. A few minutes later, a neighbor alerted her that there was smoke coming from her roof.
Plainview firefighters responded and extinguished the fire, but from fire, smoke and water damage, Edelstein said, it will be six to nine months of repairs before their high ranch home is made livable again.
For now, Edelstein, co-president of the Parkway Elementary School PTA, said she, her husband, and daughters, aged 8 and 11, are staying at a nearby hotel, and spending some time and money at a Target store. "We're getting some clothes and my [younger] daughter needs a few toys, because she has nothing left," she said.
At the Silver Point Beach Club, where 840 cabanas spread across a stretch of beach just past the New York City border, the fire was confined to a row of cabanas referred to as No. 2 Court, said William Baumert, vice president of the private club.
The fire started in one cabana, believed to be the unit closest to the ocean, Baumert said, and the wind helped fanned the blaze.
"The way the wind was blowing, the smoke and heat caused damage to these cabanas," Baumert said, pointing to the adjoining cabins.
Officials said power to the cabanas had been turned on for the first time this season and that might have ignited the fire.
Baumert said four to five units were "badly" damaged while another seven or eight suffered smoke damage. He estimated it would take two to three weeks to repair cabins and get them ready for the season.
"We'll be able to clean them up," Baumert said. "It won't be the end of the world."
The Nassau Arson/Bomb squad is investigating the cause of this fire, but has not made a determination, police said Friday.