Elmont house fire: Firefighters rescue 3 critically injured people, officials say
Elmont firefighters rescued three critically injured people from a house fire Friday night that also left two firefighters hurt, Nassau County police and fire officials said.
The fire broke out at the home on Oakley Avenue near E Street around 9:26 p.m.
Police arrived after a 911 call and entered the basement but were pushed out by heavy smoke and heat, according to a Nassau County police news release.
The Elmont Fire Department also was at the scene and rescued two women and a man inside the house who suffered burns and smoke inhalation, officials said.
Two of the victims were rescued by firefighters from an upstairs bedroom and the other was pulled out of the first floor, Nassau County Chief Fire Marshal Michael Uttaro said.
“They made a heroic and valiant effort to remove the victims,” Uttaro said.
Joe Balletta, an Elmont firefighter and ex-chief who was at the scene, described a difficult time for firefighters.
"The main entrance to the house was being blocked by the unconscious male victim. They had to work extremely hard under those conditions to get him out. The second floor was extreme heat and smoke from the first floor, and they located the two female victims," he texted.
Balletta added: "The front door was forced with our tools. The door opened in so they had to get the door swung open in the [opposite] direction. They removed the door and grabbed him to bring him to the front lawn to start CPR."
He added that flames were spreading into an awning, "whipping down, licking the back of the members' coats."
The victims were taken to hospitals for treatment and were in critical condition. Two of them were taken to Nassau University Medical Center and another to NYU Langone Hospital-Long Island, authorities said.
The fire is believed to have started on the first floor, Uttaro said, and is not considered suspicious. It was brought under control in 45 minutes, and smoke detectors were present and operating, Uttaro said in an earlier release.
One Elmont firefighter suffered burns to the ears and was taken to Nassau University Medical Center and treated and released. Another, also with the Elmont department, suffered an elbow injury and was taken to Long Island Jewish Valley Stream Hospital and treated and released, fire officials said.
A dog died in the blaze, fire officials said.
Several fire departments provided mutual aid, including Franklin Square, West Hempstead, Malverne, Valley Stream, South Floral Park and Mineola Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
Uttaro said the interior of the home was gutted and that the Hempstead Building Department will determine whether the house needs to be razed.
The Nassau County Police Department was investigating.
With Joan Gralla