Firefighters battle a fire that engulfed this Commack home Tuesday evening,...

Firefighters battle a fire that engulfed this Commack home Tuesday evening, leaving one man dead.  Credit: Joseph Sperber

A man was found dead in an upstairs apartment after a fire raced through a Commack home, authorities said.

Suffolk County police identified the victim of the Tuesday night blaze as Jean Laurent, 40. His mother, Bertha Glaude, 67, was able to escape the upstairs apartment they shared before police arrived.

Three occupants of the downstairs portion of the home also escaped, authorities said.

Police arrived at the house on Spinner Lane at 6:44 p.m. and were told that someone was trapped inside the burning upstairs apartment, Commack Fire Chief John Barry said late Tuesday.

An unidentified Second Precinct officer entered the house and attempted to rescue the victim, but was unable to remove him from the residence, a statement from the police read. Fire officials said the apartment was cluttered with items that caused obstacles.

Diane Buscemi, who lives nearby, said that after a neighbor told her the home was on fire, she came outside and saw part of the residence engulfed in flames.

"It was unbelievable," Buscemi said Wednesday of the fire. "It was all on the top floor. Everything was coming out of it. It was really scary."

Commack Fire Commissioner Pat Fazio described the fire conditions as "horrible."

"It's unfortunate and sad someone lost their life," Fazio said. "But, certainly it was not for a lack of effort. Our firefighters did all they could under terrible conditions …" Fazio also praised the police officer for his efforts.

Fazio said about 65 firefighters from Commack and East Northport, as well as Commack EMS crews, responded to the fire and found heavy smoke and flames enveloping the home and blowing out both sides.

The downstairs residents, who were alerted to the fire by a neighbor knocking on their door, were treated for smoke inhalation and transported to a hospital, Fazio said. Glaude, the victim's mother, was also treated for smoke inhalation, authorities said.

The police officer who made the rescue attempt was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation, authorities said.

Police said they are investigating the cause of the fire.

With Drew Singh

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