The Melville Fire Department battled a raging wind-driven fire at the Avalon Court apartment complex on March 23, 2019. The fire was already through the roof and spreading rapidly when firefighters arrived. Four aerial ladders were utilized in addition to numerous hoselines; 52 residents were displaced from the 17 units in the building, which was heavily damaged. One child suffered burns to the arm and was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital. Two firefighters also sustained injuries, with one transported to Plainview Hospital with a shoulder injury and the second treated at the scene for a shoulder injury. Assistant Chief David Kaplan was in command, supported by Assistant Chiefs Bill Schmitt and Jason Bernfeld. The Huntington Fire Marshal and Suffolk Police Arson Squad investigated. Mutual aid came from East Farmingdale, Wyandanch, Huntington, Huntington Manor, Greenlawn, Farmingdale, Syosset, Bethpage, Plainview, Deer Park, North Lindenhurst, Huntington Community First Aid Squad, Wyandanch-Wheatley Heights VAC, Suffolk Fire-Rescue Coordinators and OEM, and the American Red Cross.

– Fire News story by Steve Silverman, photos courtesy Deb Archer,  Joseph C. Sperber, Kevin Imm and Bryan Lopez