Investigators have determined that it was a car fire that led to a five-alarm blaze that consumed an Old Brookville mansion on Wednesday night, leaving one firefighter hospitalized with heat exhaustion, a fire official said Thursday.
About 150 firefighters from 23 departments took turns working half-hour shifts at the Linden Lane residence, relieved by colleagues waiting along the fire perimeter, Nassau County Assistant Chief Fire Marshal Michael F. Uttaro said.
The blaze started in the garage about 8:15 p.m. and later jumped to the home, Old Brookville police said.
"The female owner came home, pulled into the garage and went about her business, then said she heard some noises, popping noises, and discovered the car on fire in the garage," Uttaro said.
Uttaro said the woman told investigators that she had turned off the car, a Nissan sedan. The fire, which also damaged other vehicles in the garage, has been ruled nonsuspicious.
The woman and another resident were able to escape the burning home unharmed, Uttaro said.
Uttaro said the residence was a 10,000-square-foot house. Google Maps showed a tennis court, pool and an expansive driveway just off Linden Lane, a north-south street.
Fire trucks were lined along one side of the road and yards away on the main thoroughfare of Northern Boulevard, Uttaro said. The East Norwich and Glenwood fire departments led the response that included 21 other departments from throughout Nassau and also Suffolk County, he said.
"All the mutual aid units are parked on Northern Boulevard and walking up," Uttaro said. "It's a very tight road, Linden Lane. We've learned from past mistakes. All the rigs are pulled off to the side so we have a lane in and out."
By 10:30 p.m., the main part of the blaze had been put out but the fire was not brought under control until 11:15 p.m., after firefighters hunted down pockets of fire in the attic and elsewhere, he said.