NEW HYDE PARK, N.Y. (1010 WINS) – A fire in New Hyde Park killed a 79-year-old man early Sunday morning.
Neighbors heard a big explosion just before 1 a.m. on Seventh Avenue and within a few minutes 526 Seventh Ave. was completely engulfed in flames.
“The front of the house was engulfed in flames so my daughter and I moved our cars out of the driveway because we knew they were basically Molotov cocktails waiting to go,” neighbor Al Patrofsky said.
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Patrofsky and his family woke up to the explosion and were the last people to see the man before the fire killed him.
“It’s terrifying. You see your neighbor’s house engulfed in flames, you hear he passes away, you see your house the siding’s on fire. Yeah it was a traumatic moment,” Patrofsky said. “He liked to stop by Dunkin Donuts for a sausage egg sandwich so my daughter brought him one last night. That was probably his last meal.”
Susanne Patrofsky brought the man food many times over the years and had just seen him three hours before he died.
“He is one of the nicest people that I have met—really big heart and generous. I’m just really saddened that this had to happen to him. Me and my mom have been trying to help him, but unfortunately, we couldn’t give him the help that he needed,” she said.
Of the 125 firefighters that responded, only two were injured. Two days ago, another fire broke out a few blocks away. Six firefighters were injured in that house fire.
Patrofsky said his neighbor had just gotten out of the hospital last week and had been on oxygen and very sick.
“Very sickly man. I don’t know why he was sent home. At the very least someone should have been with him,” he said.