An early-morning Monday fire that badly damaged a vacant home in Wantagh has been deemed to be of suspicious origin, the Nassau County police and the county Fire Marshal's office said.

Arson and bomb squad are investigating the fire, a police spokeswoman said.

James Hickman, a division supervisor for the county Fire Marshal's office, said the cause of the 3:17 a.m. fire is under investigation. He declined to say whether there were indications that an accelerant was used or to give additional details because the investigation is still active.

Firefighters said flames were coming out of the front of the house when they arrived, he said.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

The house, which was for sale, consists of a first floor and basement, and the fire started on the first floor, Hickman said.

Nassau County property records show the 1,079-square foot, 5-room ranch was built in 1950, with a shingle roof and asbestos shingles on the exterior walls. It was previously owned by Michael and Lillian Casale, now both deceased, public records show.