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Sterling Glen Mattress Fire

 Story and Photos by Ex-Captain Steve Grogan

On Tuesday, March 13, 2007, the volunteers of the Lynbrook Fire Department, under the command of First Assistant Chief Robert Occhipinti, responded at 10:07 PM to a reported automatic fire alarm at the Sterling Glen Senior Complex on Ocean Avenue off Peninsula Blvd.  Rescue, Hook and Ladder (Truck) Company was first on the scene, soon followed by Engine Company 1 and Tally-Ho Engine 3.   Firefighters upon their arrival were first told that an apartment resident on the third floor had burnt cookies in her microwave, but they also learned that the resident had started her bedroom mattress on fire.  The mattress fire had activated the room’s sprinkler system flooding the room with water. 


While Truck Company members made their way to the fire floor, Engine Company took the hydrant across the street from the building, fed the standpipe system, and took hose packs into the building to connect to the standpipe.  Tally-Ho took additional packs to the floor below the fire and also stretched another line to the fire floor.  Upon arrival on the third floor Second Assistant Chief John O’Reilly and the first firefighters from Truck Company, found a fire burning in a mattress in the one bedroom apartment and that the building sprinkler system had contained most of the fire. 


Two members of Truck Company entered the fire room with Chief O’Reilly and put out a small fire found in the bathroom sink which appeared to be burnt cookies.  Other Truck Company members helped evacuate nearby apartments.  One of the hose lines stretched to the fire floor by Engine Company was used to briefly wet down the smoldering bedroom mattress.  The Department’s Emergency Medical Company was at the scene and responded up to the fire floor and treated the resident of the fire apartment for smoke inhalation.  She however refused medical treatment or transportation to the hospital. 


The resident who occupied the fire apartment told firefighters that she had left a cigarette in an ashtray on the bed while she went to check on some cookies she had in her microwave.  The cookies had burnt in the microwave.  She allegedly carried the burning cookies and put them in the bathroom sink which melted some plastic items around the sink area.  When she left the bathroom to report the fire in the sink she found the bed on fire.  The cigarette may have fallen out of the ashtray on the bed and started the fire.  The Nassau County Fire Marshal’s Office responded to the scene and investigated the blaze.  Cigarette smoking is not permitted in the apartments.


Lynbrook firefighters were at the scene for one hour.  No firefighters were injured and no residents were hurt.

Copyright © 2000-2007 Lynbrook Fire Department. All rights reserved.
Revised: 21 Feb 2017 09:56:59 -0500 .



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