A roaring fire tore apart an ambulance repair facility on Long Island Saturday, sending huge plumes of smoke into the skies as loud explosions boomed from within.
More than two dozen fire departments rushed to the Freeport building after word of the blaze came in around 11 a.m. The response eventually climbed to five alarms, bringing more than 100 firefighters to the scene where it took at least three hours to tamp out the fire.
Two of the responding firefighters and a medic had to be treated at local hospitals for smoke inhalation.
The fire was already heavy when the first crews go to the scene. The Nassau County fire marshal said four workers inside the building at the time managed to get out safely.
Firefighters were inside trying to knock down the flames when oxygen cylinders on the 20 ambulances inside the building started exploding. After that, the bulk of the firefighting shifted to attacks from the outside.
Roughly one third of all departments in the county responded to the fire, finally getting it under control hours later. All was thought to be contained but a 911 call before 6 p.m. reported smoke at the site.