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Man dies in fire at North Amityville motel

Kevin Furey, 56, died in a fire that

Kevin Furey, 56, died in a fire that gutted the Sayonara Motel in North Amityville motel early Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014, Suffolk County police said. Photo Credit: Johnny Milano

A man died in a fire that gutted a North Amityville motel early Sunday morning, Suffolk County police said.

Kevin Furey, 56, who was staying on the second floor when the fire broke out in another room at the Sayonara Motel, was taken to St. Joseph Hospital in Bethpage, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

Six people were left homeless, officials said.

The fire was reported at 5:35 a.m. at the motel, at 831 Broadway, police said, adding that it does not appear to be criminal. The Suffolk homicide and arson squads were on the scene Sunday morning.

Police said the fire started in a room on the second floor.

A neighbor, Mariama Barrie-Diamond, said she was awakened in her condo by "this woman crying in distress." Barrie-Diamond said she saw the fire and called 911.

"I thought I was dreaming, but the cry was real and coming from somewhere," she said.

Andrea Ellis, 68, who also lives in the condo complex next door, came out to see flames pouring from the windows of the motel. "It was all on fire," she said. "I thought the flames were going to catch the trees over here."

At 9:30 a.m., firefighters rolled out new hose lines to douse hot spots at the north side of the motel.

The American Red Cross gave the six adults staying in the motel emergency short-term housing in an unspecified location, said Michael Devulpillieres, a spokesman based in Mineola. They were also given debit cards for food and clothing, he said.

If they need long-term housing, they will be referred to local housing authorities, Devulpillieres said, adding that the agency offered counseling support to Furey's family.

One guest, Nicole Desir, walked out of the motel Sunday afternoon with a grocery bag full of clothes. She said she arrived at the motel Saturday from Miami to visit her grandchildren and planned to fly home Monday.

"Someone knocked on my door and told me the building was on fire," Desir said. "I'm ready to go back home."

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