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Officials: Faulty fireplace causes W. Islip house fire

A West Islip home burned earlier this week because of a faulty fireplace, fire officials said Tuesday.

Det. Sgt. George White, of the Suffolk County Police Department Arson Section, said police responded to a 12:30 a.m. 911 call Monday about a fire at a home in West Islip. Once firefighters put out the flames, arson investigators ruled the fire an accident after determining that the fire began when mortar between the fireplace's bricks failed, White said.

The fire destroyed most of the home.

Bill Birkmire, 53, who shares the home with his two sons, said he used the fireplace as often as four or five times a week.

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