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Man and two firefighters hurt, dog and cat perish in late-night house fire in Dix Hills, Suffolk police say

A man was injured in this fire on

A man was injured in this fire on Saturday, April 4, 2015 at a home in Dix Hills, Suffolk County police said. Credit: Stringer News Service

A man and two firefighters were injured and a dog and cat killed late Saturday night in a blaze that destroyed a Dix Hills home, police and fire officials said.

The victim, who was not identified, lived at the one-story, wood-frame home with his wife, Suffolk police said Sunday. He was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip after suffering cardiac arrest, Dix Hills Fire Chief Robert Fling said. His condition was not available.

The fire started about 11:25 p.m.

One Dix Hills firefighter cut his hand and was taken to Huntington Hospital; another was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation, officials said.

Fling said Sunday rescuers administered CPR and then a cyanide antidote kit to reverse the effects of smoke inhalation on the male resident of the house. The effort was key to reviving the man, who he described as elderly. The victim was not breathing and had no pulse. "He was on his way to dying," Fling said.

Fling said police outside could hear the cries of a man in the rear bedroom and the man's wife was outside yelling, "My husband's still in there." Fling said she was uninjured, and she was not identified by name.

Fling said when he arrived at the house, he stuck his hand and arm in a window, checking the bed and sheets for the man. Other responders found him "just outside the bedroom trying to escape." Fling said they pulled the man to safety.

He said the dog and cat were found dead near the bedroom.

The house will have to be torn down because of the extensive damage from the fire, which took about 40 minutes to tame, Fling said.

About 70 firefighters from Deer Park, Greenlawn, Huntington Manor, Melville, Commack, North Babylon and East Northport, and the Brentwood Legion Ambulance and Wyandanch-Wheatley Heights Ambulance Corps responded to the fire, Fling said. Dix Hills fire officials said the Kenmore Street home was the eighth house to catch fire in the district in 2015.

Throughout the day, neighbors and friends dropped by the home, sifting through debris and offering help.

Mike Merola, 55, who lives next door, recalled waking up Saturday night to witness the back of the home "engulfed in flames" and a "glow from the front."

"It's traumatic," Merola said.

Fling said the Suffolk County police Arson Squad and the Suffolk fire marshal's office are investigating.

Blue shutters remained around the shattered windows, which were to be boarded up later. Part of a backyard fence was being repaired.

"It's a shame," said Vinny Barone, 62, who lives nearby. The home's family members, whom he had observed from afar over the years, were "hardworking people," he said.

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