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Wantagh home gutted by fire early Thursday

An early morning fire caused significant damage to a home on Seaford Court in Wantagh on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. Two brothers, who were awakened by the fire, were able to escape. Credit: News 12 Long Island

More than 70 firefighters battled a blaze that heavily damaged a home early Thursday in Wantagh, fire officials said.

Two brothers escaped unharmed from the fire at a home on Mandalay Beach Road at Seaford Court, which was reported at 5:23 a.m.

Firefighters from Wantagh responded with five engines, two ladder trucks and three ambulances. Chiefs found that, in addition to the primary home, which had a fire through the roof and out the front of the house, adjacent homes were “in severe peril” of catching fire, too, Wantagh Fire Department spokesman Kevin Regan said.

David Maloney, 22, told News 12 Long Island that he and his brother Dan were sleeping when the fire broke out.

Maloney said it was a painter working on their home “who really saved us.” He said the man woke him after he “heard the explosion.”

Maloney said he then ran to his 15-year-old brother’s room and kicked down his door, and the two got out “pretty much just in time.”

Maloney’s dad and stepmother, who have a new baby, were on vacation, News 12 reported.

“They’re on the next flight back,” Maloney said. “They didn’t believe me. I had to send them a picture to show them.”

The fire caused significant damage to the second story of the home, causing its roof to partially collapse.

Siding on the adjacent homes was melted by the intense heat, Regan said, adding that firefighters battled gusting winds that threatened to spread the fire.

Firefighters from Seaford also responded to the scene with a so-called FAST truck, while North Bellmore, Bellmore and Massapequa provided mutual aid.

Regan said the scene was cleared at 8:17 a.m.

The cause of the fire is not considered suspicious, Regan said, but it is being investigated by the Nassau County Police Arson Bomb Squad and by the Nassau County fire marshal’s office.

The Town of Hempstead Building Department will inspect the home for structural damage.

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