Chief: Andover Court Fire Probably Largest Since St. Mary's

Chief William Castoro said the wind-driven blaze hampered fire operations.

Strong winds hampered firefighting efforts at an early morning fire that destroyed an Andover Court home Nov. 24, according to Chief William Castoro.

The blaze broke out shortly after 2 a.m. when a backyard patio swing caught fire and quickly spread.

"It was a wind-driven fire that hampers fire operations and causes fire to advance very quickly," Chief Castoro said. "The Andover Court fire was probably the largest fire we've had in the village since the St. Mary's fire."

The 41-year-old resident was watching television when he smelled smoke inside the home, according to a county police report. When he looked outside, he saw a patio swing fully engulfed. He tried to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher but was unsuccessful and the fire quickly spread, according to police.

The Garden City Fire Department battled the blaze with mutual aid provided by Mineola, Franklin Square, New Hyde Park, Stewart Manor, Westbury and Carle Place. More than 100 firefighters and 20 pieces of apparatus responded to the scene.

The infamous St. Mary's blaze broke out in June 2000. A Garden City police officer, smelling smoke in the air, discovered a fire raging in the upper floor of a wing of the abandoned building. It took approximately two hours for more than 130 firefighters to get the fire under control. A year later Carol Konner Development of Bridgehampton purchased the derelict building from the Cathedral of the Incarnation to build eight new "traditional style Garden City homes."
david stevens December 10, 2013 at 09:19 AM
one of the biggest fires that I remember was the fire at 100 Garden City Plaza in 1992
Uly Franco December 10, 2013 at 11:39 AM
Maybe if the engine nearest engine was still staffed it wouldn't have been so big. Remember fire doubles in size every minute
Jack O'Niel December 10, 2013 at 02:24 PM
Have they determined a cause? I'm curious and I also wonder if the resident called the FD first or tried to put it out himself then called the FD.
GCres2 December 10, 2013 at 11:22 PM
wind driven fire? its not like this was in a 10th floor apartment in coney island. we're talking about a house in a residential area surrounded by trees and other houses. what wind?


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