The Selden Fire Department was activated for an Automatic Alarm just before 11 p.m. on May 25 at 1000 Middle Country Road in Selden.
A Selden Fire Department ambulance enroute to the hospital reported flames coming from the roof of Giove’s Funeral Home.
The initial fire was in the second-floor residence, and in the ceiling above the residence. The residents were alerted and woken by their two dogs barking and were able to escape without injury.
Employees, who had just left the funeral home, came back, and removed the one funeral casket to a safe location.
Under the Command of Chief of the Department William Cotty, an initial interior attack was hampered and aborted as the ceiling of the apartment began to collapse on the firefighters. At this time all manpower was removed from the building just two minutes before the roof collapsed into the apartment.
The Selden Fire Department quickly moved to an exterior attack with ladders from Selden FD, Coram FD and Centereach Fire Department.
In all about 100 firefighters and over 20 pieces of apparatus and support vehicles from Selden FD, Centereach FD, Coram FD, Ronkonkoma FD, Holtsville FD and Farmingville FD contained the fire in a little over an hour.
In addition to the departments above, the Selden Fire Department was assisted on scene by Port Jeff Ambulance, Medford Ambulance and Brookhaven Town Fire Coordinators. Terryville FD and Setauket FD stood by at the Selden FD HQ and handled three additional EMS alarms during the fire.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Brookhaven Town Fire Marshals Office and Suffolk County PD Arson Squad.