The Wantagh-Seaford PAL building at Cedar Creek Park closed down after an electrical fire last night caused significant damage. The cause of the fire, reported at about 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday, was determined to be accidental, starting from an exterior light fixture, according to the Nassau Fire Marshall’s office.
About 130 firefighters — from 7 Engines, 10 Truck Companies and 2 F.A.S.T. Trucks, from the Wantagh Fire Department and several neighboring fire departments called on for mutual aide — extinguished the fire in about 90 minutes. The building was unoccupied and no injuries were reported.
Damage was confined to the building housing the PAL offices, which is located near the Park’s playground. No other structures were damaged and the building will remain closed until renovations can be planned.
County officials said the playground is and will continue to be open. The debris from the fire on the exterior of the building was removed and the building will be secured and sectioned off with snow fence today. The PAL will likely be temporarily housed in the County Parks Administration building located nearby.
Heavy smoke seen on Merrick Rd. and throughout the park last night likely promoted calls to 911. The burning building was located towards the back of the park. The roofing material on the parapet consisted of several layers of plywood and slate roofing material, which made removal to extinguish pockets of fire very difficult. One firefighter suffered from fatigue while working on the roof. He was assisted to the ground where he received rehab by the crew of Rescue 1 and he refused any additional assistance.
Detectives from the Nassau County Police Arson/Bomb Squad and investigators from the Nassau County Fire Marshal’s Office were on the scene. Mutual Aid at the scene included Seaford, Massapequa, North Massapequa, North Bellmore, North Merrick, Levittown, Bellmore and standby coverage at Wantagh Station 1 by Bethpage, Merrick, and Massapequa.