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Dozens evacuated near Huntington business fire, officials say

Huntington and Cold Spring Harbor Fire Departments responded

Huntington and Cold Spring Harbor Fire Departments responded to a fire on New York Avenue in Huntington Saturday, March 1st, 2014. Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

About 70 people were evacuated from Red, a Huntington Village restaurant, as fire crews Saturday night battled a stubborn blaze next door that damaged at least three businesses.

Nino Antuzzi, Red's owner, said the restaurant was "not affected. There is water damage."

The fire began shortly before 7 p.m. on the top floor of a two-story building on New York Avenue near Fairview Street, authorities said. As of midnight Saturday, flames were still visible.

Gary Field, who owns the scorched building, said "there were people in the building when the fire started. Everybody got out."

He said his tenants are offices and businesses, including a nail salon and an art shop.

"There are lots of businesses that are going to have to reboot," he said.

Field said he was told the fire started upstairs. "There is no fire damage downstairs. It's water damage."

A Suffolk County police officer suffered minor injuries when he fell, and was transported to Huntington Hospital to receive stitches, police said. No other injuries were reported, according to fire officials. The cause was not immediately known.

Fire crews from Huntington, Greenlawn, Centerport, Huntington Manor, Cold Spring Harbor, Halesite and Melville responded.

Suffolk County Police Arson Squad detectives are investigating the fire.

A gas station near the fire scene was doused with water by firefighters as a precaution.

Erica West, 54, who lives a half-block away, said smoke was "billowing out and covering the sky."

Terry Mcmullen, owner of nearby Once Upon A Baby Gallery, saw flames "shooting through the roof" of the building.

"The smoke was so bad you couldn't even breathe," Mcmullen said.

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