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North Babylon McDonald’s catches fire, closes road, cops say

Firefighters battle a blaze at a McDonald's restaurant

Firefighters battle a blaze at a McDonald's restaurant on Deer Park Avenue near Fairview Avenue in North Babylon early Thursday, March 31, 2016. Credit: Brian Thomas

A morning fire at a McDonald’s caused extensive damage and closed Deer Park Avenue on the Deer Park-North Babylon border Thursday, though the road has been reopened, police said.

The fire at the restaurant on Deer Park Avenue, near Fairview Avenue, was reported at 4:02 a.m., Suffolk County fire officials said. It was reported under control at 5:32 a.m. Firefighters from Deer Park, North Babylon, West Islip, Dix Hills and Wyandanch battled the blaze.

Deer Park Fire Chief Larry Bradbury said the fire appeared to originate outside at the rear of the building, but that it spread and caused smoke and fire damage to the interior — as well as to the roof. Police said investigators from the Arson Squad and the Town of Babylon fire marshal’s office have determined the cause to be “non-criminal” — but have not released an official cause.

The store in North Babylon has a 24-hour drive thru, according to its website.

Bradbury said there were no reported injuries.

Bradbury also said that, because of the seriousness of fires at McDonald’s restaurants around the United States, there is “a preplan” for firefighters here on how to address fires at the restaurants — especially since many have significant “void” areas in the roof structure that can lead to roof and ceiling collapses. Knowing that, he said, helped protect firefighters on the scene and gave responders a road map of sorts on areas to examine for structural issues and fire hot spots. As a result, Bradbury said, firefighters were able to find “a little fire in the ceiling” and keep it from spreading.

“Good training always pays off,” he said.

It was not immediately clear when the store might reopen.

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