The Manorville Fire Department responded to a brush fire in a large area of woods west of Schultz Road. Units found a large fire deep in the woods off the roadway. Mutual came from Brookhaven National Lab, Brookhaven, Wading River, Yaphank, Hagerman, Center Moriches, East Moriches, Riverhead, Eastport, Coram, Rocky Point, Mastic Beach, Mount Sinai and Farmingville. The wind driven, low burning fire took hours for crews to bring under control. One firefighter was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital for injuries.

While Middle Island was operating in the woods, Firefighter Nick Heege was at the rear of the brush truck when the top of a large tree fell and struck him in the back, pinning him between the tree and the tank of the truck. Other firefighters were able to remove the tree and Firefighter Heege was transported via Brookhaven National Lab Ambulance with a Middle Island Fire Department paramedic onboard to Stony Brook University Hospital. Nick suffered three broken ribs and multiple spinal fractures, he has a long road of recovery ahead of him.

The Middle Island Fire Department Chief’s office would like to thank the mutual aid departments, friends, family and community for reaching out to them with their continued support. To Nick, get well soon, we are all here for you and your family. Visit the Middle Island Fire Department’s Facebook ( page for information on donating to Nicks recovery expenses.   

– Fire News photos by Bryan Lopez