A man whose Patchogue home was on fire Sunday night ran two doors down to the local firehouse for help, but it was too late, authorities said.
His Jennings Avenue home was gutted in the blaze that was reported shortly after 11:15 p.m., leaving him and seven others homeless, said Patchogue Fire Department spokesman Bill Rouse, whose shift was just ending when the man ran in.
"One of the residents came running over and yelled . . . 'My house is on fire. My dog is in there,' " Rouse said.
From the firehouse, Rouse said, he could see the flames were already consuming much of the house: "It was really burning before we got there."
Some firefighters went in to search for people, but were driven back, he said: "It was too darn hot and smoky, and they came crawling out."
A total of eight people got out safely, many standing in their nightclothes as about 100 firefighters from Patchogue, North Patchogue, Blue Point and Hagerman fought the blaze and had it under control just after 1 a.m., Rouse said.
The family's dog and cat died, he said.
The heat was so intense that the siding on a neighbor's home began melting, and firefighters hosed it down to minimize further damage, Rouse said.He said the Red Cross helped find the victims shelter.
Suffolk County police arson detectives deemed the fire accidental, a police spokeswoman said.