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E. Northport bagel shop worker hurt in flash fire

An oven exploded at a bagel shop in

An oven exploded at a bagel shop in East Northport, Sunday. (March 21,2010) Photo Credit: Ed Betz

A worker at an East Northport bagel store had second- and third-degree burns over nearly 20 percent of his body after a flash fire burst from an oven in the shop's kitchen early Sunday.

The worker, Alejandro Garcia, 35, of Roslyn, was flown to Stony Brook University Medical Center, and First Class Bagels was closed for the day.

Garcia, who was making bagels when the fire occurred, was in stable condition and recovering Sunday, fire officials said.

The fire happened about 3:20 a.m. at the store in the Elwood Shopping Center on Jericho Turnpike, police said.

A store manager who identified himself as Richard said it appeared that the fire happened when flour in the oven was involved in a combustion.

"There was no doubt once he opened the door to the oven, there was some type of an explosion," said Tom Magno, second assistant chief of the Dix Hills Fire Department.

Garcia was the only employee working in the store at the time of the fire, the manager said. Attempts to reach Garcia were not successful.

An estimate of the cost of the damage caused by the fire, which blew out a shop window, was not available, he said.

Magno said the fire did not appear suspicious. Police said they were still investigating late Sunday.

The owner of First Class Bagels, Dean Constantatos of East Northport, declined to talk.

The noise of a helicopter landing roused some in the neighborhood, said Jim Salantino, who lives nearby.

"It must've been [quite] an explosion," Salantino said.

Other neighbors were upset that they were denied their morning bagel at the popular shop. The entrance was roped off with yellow tape as investigators and National Grid employees worked the scene and employees turned away patrons as they cleaned up the premises.

"My family eats here every Sunday," said one would-be customer, Barry Rosenberg. "I guess I'll go somewhere else."


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