A Melville firefighter was hospitalized after suffering a shoulder injury Sunday afternoon while battling a 1-acre blaze in Dix Hills.
The firefighter, whose name was not released, was hit by a tree branch while riding on an off-road firefighting “stump jumper,” Melville Fire Department spokesman Steve Silverman said. The firefighter was taken to Huntington Hospital, where he was in stable condition.
The fire was first called in at 12:01 p.m. on property near the Suburban Water Gardens nursery on Burrs Lane. About 60 firefighters contained the fire “several feet from a house” after 45 minutes, Silverman said. By 1:30 p.m. the fire was under control.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Burrs Lane resident Kelly McGrath, 39, said flames 11 to 12 feet high came within 200 feet of her house. She and neighbors got out hoses to wet down their backyards.
“The flames were coming up. The smoke was jet black,” McGrath said. “You could feel the heat it was so intense.” She said the popping of the fire “sounded like fireworks.”
She said the wooded area behind her house looks dead from the lack of rain. “Everything’s so dry it wouldn’t take much,” she said.
The Melville Fire Department was the lead agency. Also assisting were the Dix Hills, Wyandanch, Deer Park and Huntington Manor fire departments. Plainview and Cold Springs Harbor Fire Departments were on standby to assist with other calls, Silverman said.