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Home razed after fire; another condemned

An alleged hoarder's house that caught fire in

An alleged hoarder's house that caught fire in Brentwood has been demolished as a safety hazard, police said. (April 21, 2012) Credit: Paul Mazza

Authorities demolished one home and condemned another as safety hazards Saturday, after an alleged hoarder's house in Brentwood caught fire, and 11 residents in a dwelling in Port Jefferson Station suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning likely from a portable generator.

Suffolk police said the Brentwood home, at 38 Nostrand Ave., had been packed floor to ceiling with clothing, boxes, furniture and other items when it caught fire shortly after 4 a.m.

"It was definitely a hoarder's environment," police arson investigator Det. Terrence Keough said. Seven residents, including the homeowner, escaped, police said.

Arson is not suspected, but the cause is under investigation, Keough said. "It was a giant house fire," Keough said of the 4:09 a.m. blaze.

At 512 Jayne Blvd. in Port Jefferson Station, Terryville fire officials said residents were taken to area hospitals early Saturday. Terryville Assistant Fire Chief Brendan Pilkington said a woman living in the house had called for an ambulance, saying she felt ill.

Upon arriving, emergency medical personnel and firefighters found excessive amounts of carbon monoxide; and the other residents, who were asleep, suffering from the effects.

"Had that woman not woken up feeling ill, we could have been dealing with 11 fatalities," Pilkington said.

The Brookhaven fire marshal will cite the building owner for other violations, Pilkington said. Salmon-colored notices on the front and back doors indicated the house was "condemned" for being an unsafe structure, having unsafe equipment, being unfit for human occupancy and being an unlawful structure.

Fire officials did not know whether all the residents, who were taken to St. Charles or John T. Mather Memorial hospitals or Stony Brook Medical Center, were released. The injuries were not considered life-threatening, police said.Shortly before noon, some residents returned to the single-story, brown, wood-framed house to pick up belongings. Ramon Espenal, 70, said through a translator he had just gotten the generator Friday and plugged it in. He said he had been coughing when taken to St Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson but he felt better, His wife and children all were released from St. Charles as well.

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