LINDENHURST - Firefighters spent much of Wednesday battling a massive fire in Lindenhurst that scorched several homes and spread into a large brush fire.

Fire officials said the fire was finally extinguished after several hours.

"It appears at this point that the fire was caused by an electrical issue connected with a wall-mounted air conditioner," Suffolk Police Commissioner Tim Sini said Wednesday evening.

Firefighters from 15 departments raced to the scene on East Santa Barbara Road, where three homes were destroyed and two others were damaged.

The initial fire spread to other homes and crossed a canal that ran behind them to ignite a brush fire on Indian Island.

Neighbors say they saw people fleeing the flames, including one woman running with a baby in her arms. They say the other two destroyed homes were not occupied at the time.

One of the structures was reduced to a blackened husk of framework.