Douglaston home gutted by three-alarm blaze

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Firefighters blast water from a hose, setup outside of the extension to the home. Photo by Christina Santucci
Dozens of fire officials responded to the three-alarm fire. Photo by Christina Santucci
Damage is visible to the second-floor of the house. Photo by Christina Santucci
The front interior of the first floor was gutted by the blaze. Photo by Christina Santucci
Firefighters on a tower ladder spray water on the home. Photo by Christina Santucci
Water from hoses rains down on firefighters outside the Douglaston house. Photo by Christina Santucci

A three-alarm blaze tore through an extension to a home that was being built in Douglaston Tuesday evening, then spread into the house and threatened neighboring residences before it was put out, fire officials said.

“The whole rear extension - everything that was under construction - caught on fire,” said FDNY Battalion Chief James Doherty as firefighters searched for remaining pockets of fire and doused the home on Douglaston Parkway near 39th Avenue with water from several tower ladders.

“The house is destroyed obviously. The whole area of the construction is fully gutted and the front, that was the original home, is fully gutted also,” Doherty said.

The battalion chief said that the blaze had started to spread to the side of a neighboring home, and after they arrived, firefighters were able to put out the fire in that home, which had only affected the exterior of the structure.

Doherty estimated that about 100 firefighters responded to help control the blaze, and several dozen FDNY and emergency vehicles lined Douglaston Parkway all the way to the intersection with 43rd Avenue.

No one was inside the house where the fire occurred at the time, and officials believe that the home was unoccupied as the extension was being constructed.

Doherty said that no civilians were hurt, but several firefighters were being examined at the scene.

“We got some reports of minor injuries. They are being treated by EMS now,” Doherty said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, fire officials said.

“The house is under construction. There were workers here today working, so the fire marshals will investigate and try to determine the cause,” Doherty said.

Reach photo editor Christina Santucci by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4589.

Updated 12:40 am, August 15, 2012
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anonymous says:
Smells like an insurance scam to me!
Aug. 15, 2012, 10:06 am

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