Firefighter Responds on Call To His Own House
A SELDEN, LONG ISLAND, FIRE LIEUTENANT was at the firehouse Tuesday night attending a training session when the bells hit for an address in his neighborhood. Michael Cosgrove, a 17-year member, was on the pumper but was not yet aware that the caller made a mistake on the house number and he was responding to his own home. As the fire trucks approached the scene they could see where the fire was and then realized that it was the Cosgrove house with a burning pickup truck partly into the building.
Suffolk County police said the blaze on Choate Avenue was sparked by the crash, which occurred just before 7:15 p.m. The driver, 35-year-old Anthony Capuano of Selden, who pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Wednesday on charges of driving while ability impaired by drugs and reckless endangerment, lost control of a red pickup truck, police said, and crashed into a natural gas line in the home.
The firefighter’s family—his wife and two young children—were in an upstairs bathroom when they heard an "explosion" and then ran out to safety, Leavens said.
The fire department responded three minutes after the call and found the flames burning the exterior of the home before it made its way into the house. The crash knocked down electric lines and ruptured both the gas line and water supply. The truck was also fully engulfed by flames. There was "extensive damage" to the house, Leavens said.
The firefighters tried to hold the blaze in check until the gas company was able to get there and shut off the gas line. By the time the fire was out, 45 minutes later, everything in the house was ruined.
Capuano, wearing pajamas and a black jacket, was arraigned early this morning and had his bail set at $20,000 cash and $100,000 bond.
CNN provided some raw video of the fire in the early stages:
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