Suffolk police said one man was killed and three other men were injured in an early morning fire Monday at a North Amityville home.
In the quiet hours of the night, the sleeping occupants awoke to smoke billowing through the home, said Suffolk Det. Lt. Kevin Beyrer of the homicide unit. Flames rapidly spread through the home, eventually roaring out of broken windows.
Three of the men tried to re-enter the one-story Albany Avenue home after escaping. The three suffered burns, cuts and smoke inhalation, Beyrer said.
Two of the injured men were taken to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip and will be transferred to Stony Brook University Hospital, police said. The third victim was taken to Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow. Their injuries were not life-threatening, police said.
The dead man’s body was found inside after the fire was extinguished, and he was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
While police have not identified any of the victims, Denny Lopez — the sister-in-law of one of the men in the home — identified the dead man as Francisco Lopez.
Speaking by phone as she gathered with family members at one of the hospitals, Denny Lopez sobbed and spoke in Spanish of the unrelenting grief consuming her family.
Later, responding to questions through text messages, she described her deceased relation as a dedicated family man.
“He was beloved, just so loved by everyone in his family,” she wrote. “He was always there for them.”
She said her brother-in-law, who is the son of Francisco Lopez and has the same name, had pulled two children in the home to safety through a window.
The two children, ages 12 and 13, were not injured, police said. They remain in the care of their mother, who was not present when the fire occurred.
The blaze was so intense that it burned four nearby cars and scorched adjacent homes. Firefighters from departments in Melville, North Amityville, North Lindenhurst, Copiague and East Farmingdale fought the fire for two hours before it was under control.
The fire remains under investigation, but authorities do not suspect any criminal activity, Beyrer said.
With William Murphy