Fire guts South Valley Stream home


A fire touched off by gasoline fumes destroyed a home in the Mill Brook section of South Valley Stream early Friday morning.

According to Valley Stream Fire Chief John Beck, the fire broke out shortly after 4 a.m. on Nov. 2 at 66 Brook Road, a dead-end street off of Riverdale Road. He said first arriving firefighters were met with heavy fire on the first and second floor, and flames were blowing out the front door.

Beck said that a gasoline container was being stored next to the home to be used to power a generator. The woman who lives in the house opened the door to leave, and a candle burning inside ignited the gasoline fumes. "The fume met the candles and boom," he said.

Firefighters from Valley Stream, Elmont and Hewlett had the blaze under control within 45 minutes, and units remained on the scene for about two hours. "The damage was pretty severe," Beck said, adding that the fire burned up to the attic.

About 75 firefighters responded. There were no injuries. The woman was the only occupant of the home and Beck said she was able to find friends to stay with. He said she was on her way out to go buy gasoline for her car.

With many residents using generators in the blackout following Hurricane Sandy, Beck urged caution when storing gasoline. He said it should never be kept in or near a home. Instead, it should be stored in a shed or in the rear of the property away from any possible ignition sources. He also said residents should use caution when burning candles.