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Tuesday, May 24, 2016
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Merrick firefighters put out blaze at Town of Hempstead facility
Courtesy Ron Luparello
Merrick Fire Department firefighters worked to extinguish a fire on June 23 at the Town of Hempstead’s Sanitation Department in Merrick. Firefighters kept a safe distance from the flames in a ladder bucket because explosions were occurring inside the fire.

A large heap of trash caught fire on June 23 the Town of Hempstead’s Sanitation Department off of Merrick Road in Merrick. The Merrick Fire Department extinguished the blaze in about an hour. No one was injured.

A pile of garbage inside a Sanitation Department transfer station — an open-faced structure with a corrugated metal roof and side walls — sparked aflame at 6:40 a.m. About 25 Merrick firefighters arrived at the scene shortly after in two pumper trucks and one ladder truck. A Town of Hempstead employee used Sanitation Department machinery to shift some of the refuse aside so that the firefighters could attack the base of the fire.

“There were explosions going on in there, maybe from propane tanks or aerosol cans or whatever was in there, so rather than getting in close with hoses, we extended the ladder truck’s bucket up towards the fire and shot water down from that,” said Ron Luparello, spokesman for the Merrick Fire Department.

The fire did not damage the transfer station, according to Luparello. He said the fire’s cause “probably” was combustible materials in the garbage pile.


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