Fire destroys three homes in Ocean Bay Park
Fire officials say a fire ripped through multiple homes on Fire Island early Thursday morning.
They say it started after 2 a.m. on Bayview Walk in Ocean Bay Park, and that 12 departments responded to battle the flames.
Chief Ian Levine, the Ocean Beach fire chief, says he was the commander on the scene. Levine says it's unknown which house the fire started in, but says it was one of the two homes on the bay side. He says the fire then spread due to the wind, completely destroying three homes. Three to four other homes suffered minor damage.
"In the 28 years I've been fighting fires in Fire Island, I've never experienced a fire like this before," says Levine.
Chief Levine says the fire was very intense with embers blowing all over from the bay side to the ocean side.
There is no official cause of the fire yet, but Levine says flooding from the storm may have been the cause.
"One of the houses was a very low house," says Levine. "We think some saltwater got into the electrical system where some wires fell."
Fire Island ferries were also called to help. They shuttled firefighters from Bay Shore across the water to Ocean Bay Park.
Capt. Michael Miller says he took 25 firefighters from four departments with him to join the eight departments on Fire Island.
Miller says he was sleeping when he got the call to help. He says it's definitely something you don't expect to happen.