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Condo Complex Fire Forces Suspension Of LIRR Oyster Bay Branch

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ALBERTSON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — An extra-alarm fire in an Albertson condo complex cut power to area residents Friday evening, and partially shut down a branch of the Long Island Rail Road.

As CBS 2’s Lou Young reported, the four-alarm fire broke out in a townhouse condo unit on I.U. Willets Road in Albertson. One unit at the end of the row of attached homes went up in smoke beginning at 6:30 p.m., fire officials said.

Firefighters struggled first to get into the occupied unit, then to cut power, and finally to get the flames out.

About 150 firefighters from 12 departments responded to the blaze.

At least four units in the 14-unit complex were destroyed, Nassau County police said late Friday. But electricity was cut for area residents on a night that saw temperatures in the mid-teens.

An estimated 1,200 power customers were affected by the outage. Many residents headed to the Albertson fire station to seek warmth.

The LIRR Oyster Bay Branch was also suspended between East Williston and Locust Valley due to the fire, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

It took until after 10:30 p.m. for service to be restored.

The service had to be cut because fire crews had to string hoses across the tracks to put it out, Young reported.

“I saw a police officer, a vehicle, and they were knocking on the door. They were doing something; having some sort of trouble getting in the place,” neighbor Thaddeus Cashin said. He said he did not see any flames.

American Red Cross of Long Island volunteers were sent to the scene to provide housing, food, blankets and emotional support. They could not say late Friday how many people were affected.

As of 9 p.m., the fire was still smoldering and units remained at the scene on standby. The fire was later brought under control.

There were no reports of injuries.

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