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Christmas Eve Fire at the Lynbrook VFW Hall-

-One Firefighter Injured

Story & photos by Ex-Captain Steven Grogan

A firefighter was injured fighting a blaze which nearly destroyed the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall in Lynbrook if not for the quick actions of Lynbrook volunteer firefighters.  At 12:13 PM, Christmas Eve afternoon, Lynbrook firefighters were responding to a reported propane gas leak on a truck on Peninsula Blvd when Engine Company 1, traveling on Merrick Road to the scene, saw smoke coming from the VFW’s one story building on the corner of Merrick Road and Vincent Avenue.  They broadcast a Signal 10 for a working fire and immediately hooked up to the hydrant on that corner.   With the reported fire, all Lynbrook fire units diverted to the VFW except for Vulcan Company 2 which had already arrived at the propane truck call.Engine Company 1 members stretched an attack line to the front door and crawled into the building finding fire in the hallway and above them in the ceiling.  While they attacked the fire a second line was stretched and brought in by firefighters from Tally-Ho Engine 3, and Hose Company 1, who had arrived.   


Firefighters continued to move further into the building but were met by more smoke and heavy fire in the bar and lounge area which could only be reached by a moving down a hallway.  By this time Truck Company had arrived and set up their bucket to the roof in the back of the building while their second ladder was set up in front.Lynbrook Chief Michael Hynes, who was in charge of the operation, requested a mutual aid from surrounding villages.


Rockville Centre’s ladder responded and also laddered the front of the building.   Lynbrook and Rockville Centre firefighters went to work cutting through the roof to vent the heat and smoke for the firefighters below who were now attacking the main body of fire in the bar area.  Additional units from East Rockaway, Malverne, Lakeview, and Valley Stream, also responded and stood-by.


It took firefighters over an hour to bring the fire under control.  They remained at the scene for another hour to overhaul and make sure the fire had not extended to other areas of the building.  One firefighter working on the roof was injured and suffered a gash to his head.  He was transported to the hospital by Lynbrook’s Emergency Medical Company.   He was treated, received stitches, and was released.Nassau County Fire Marshal’s Office also responded at the request of Chief Hynes and they determined the blaze was most likely caused by an electrical problem in the bar area where a computer had been located.Chief Hynes commended Engine Company for spotting the fire while going to the other call.  He also praised the quick work of all the firefighters which contained the fast moving fire and saved the rest of the building.  “If this fire had not been seen or even called in later, it could have destroyed the whole building,” said Chief Hynes.


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02/19/17 16:29

Copyright © 2011 Lynbrook Fire Department. All rights reserved.
Revised: 19 Feb 2017 16:29:55 -0500 .



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