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Fire in North Amityville trailer park displaces 7 people

The North Amityville Fire Department was called to

The North Amityville Fire Department was called to Frontier Trailer Park on Route 110 on Monday, April 7, 2014, to respond to a trailer fire. Firefighters found two trailers on fire, which caused extensive damage to a third and minor damage to a fourth. Credit: Paul Mazza

Two trailers in a North Amityville trailer park off Route 110 were destroyed and two others sustained damage from a fire Monday that left seven people displaced, but caused no injuries, fire officials said.

The fire at Frontier Mobile Home Park was reported at about 5:30 p.m. and was extinguished at about 6:30 p.m., said John Harley, North Amityville Fire Department's first assistant chief.

The cause of the blaze was not immediately known, and was being investigated by the Suffolk fire marshal's office Monday night, Harley said.

Harley said two of the trailers, located at 185 and 186 Buffalo Ave. in the trailer park, were completely destroyed. Two other trailers, at 187 and 182 Buffalo Ave., were damaged.

Harley and neighbors said the trailer at 185 was abandoned. Harley said the occupants of the other trailers were not inside at the time of the fire, though some of the residents later told Newsday they left in a hurry -- some were eating dinner and others were bathing -- when they saw smoke and flames.

Four fire departments responded to the scene: North Amityville, Amityville, East Farmingdale and South Farmingdale, Harley said.

Harley said fire officials contacted the Red Cross to help the residents who were displaced.

As firefighters prepared to leave the scene, Marvin Hernandez, who lives at 186, and his son, Benjamin Lopez, described the rush to get out of their trailer.

Hernandez said his young daughter was bathing and he wrapped her in a towel and hustled the family out of the trailer to their car. They then drove to another relative's trailer elsewhere in the park. They were standing about 10 feet from their trailer as they watched firefighters and waited for Red Cross workers they hoped would arrive soon.

Everth Ramirez said he was eating dinner as he visited with his mother and stepfather, who live at 187, when he noticed the windows were fogging up. When he looked outside, he saw flames at the trailer only feet from his mother and stepfather's trailer, one side of which was scorched from the blaze that had engulfed the neighboring trailer that was only a few feet away.

"Then we all left," Ramirez said.

Residents of the trailer park face an April 30 eviction, as the developer, R Squared Real Estate Partners of Plainview, seeks to build 500 apartments and 42,000 square feet of retail on the 20-acre site with 500 mobile homes.

R Squared has offered residents $20,000, paid in installments, once they vacate the property. The trailer park's civic association had filed multiple lawsuits to stop the redevelopment. Residents said most of the mobile homes are too old to relocate.

A state Supreme Court Justice recently ruled against the civic association, which is appealing the decision, while Babylon Town Deputy Supervisor Tony Martinez has urged the residents to accept the developer's relocation package.


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