Frank’s Deli in West Babylon damaged by fire; 2 families displaced
A fire Thursday night at Frank’s Deli in West Babylon inflicted serious damage on the building and left two families displaced.
Fire officials say they first received calls reporting the fire at around 5:30 p.m., a half hour after the deli on Little East Neck Road closed.
The fire was initially concentrated to the rear of the deli and a storage garage. Authorities say it then spread to two neighboring vacant storefronts and the apartments above. The entire building was unoccupied at the time of the fire.
Multiple fire departments worked for hours to put out the flames. Wyandanch, Deer Park, North Babylon Fire Company, Babylon Fire Department, Wyandanch Ambulance, North Lindenhurst Fire Department, and East Farmingdale Fire Department all assisted.
Firefighters say the most difficult part of the scene was a double roof collapse that occurred because of the blaze. It prevented them from entering the building and targeting the flames inside. An excavator had to be called in to help with debris as fire crews attacked the flames from above.
Authorities say five firefighters were transported to Good Samaritan Hospital for smoke inhalation afterwards. However, they are all expected to be OK.
The Red Cross confirmed to News 12 that it was assisting two families who resided above the deli.
Those families included six adults and two children.
"I can guarantee you the West Babylon community as a whole will come together to help them with whatever they lost and obviously they lost all their personal belongings. Thank God no one was hurt and we will help them get back on their feet," said Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer.
The owner of the deli told News 12 that he had owned the business since 1989 and even helped build it.
The West Babylon community has been left shocked by what happened to the beloved deli.
“I went mostly every day. They had really good sandwiches and lemonade,” said resident Trevor Lenigan.
“It's a terrible thing. I feel sorry for the people that owned it because now there's nothing,” said resident Jane Cook.