Rockville Centre fire truck crashes into furniture store


This story was updated on March 4, 2024

Rockville Centre Fire Department’s Engine No. 444 was responding to an emergency call on Friday morning, according to local authorities, when it was involved in an accident with another motor vehicle, causing the fire engine to crash into a furniture store on the corner of Rutland and South Long Beach Road around 11:30 a.m.

Tony Rugolo, first assistant fire chief of the department, said that Woodland Engine Company No. 4 was responding to another call on Maple Avenue of smoke in one of the buildings when they got the call that Engine 444 was forced off the road and crashed into Master of Furniture at 36 S. Long Beach Road. 

“There was a small fire in the building that we were able to put out,” Rugolo said. “Once everyone got out of the building safely, we closed off the area because the building was unstable.” 

Rockville Centre police said the accident caused major damage to the building and fire engine. Six people were transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of minor non-life threatening injuries, including three of the firemen on the truck, two people inside the building and one person in another car, all of whom have since been released.

Following the accident, police and fire officials were at the scene to conduct a preliminary investigation. Video surveillance was later recovered showing footage of the collision, which sent the fire truck into the structure. 

“It clearly shows the white Lexus did not yield to the fire truck,” Rockville Centre Mayor Murray said. “The truck would have seriously hurt her if he didn’t swerve out of the way.”

He said that after towing the fire truck out from under the building, it appeared to be totaled. The cab was bent out of shape, the windshield on the driver’s side was completely gone and debris from the ceiling had crashed in through the passenger side.

“The truck is a mess,” Murray said. “It’s more than likely that it’s totaled. You can replace metal. Thankfully, none of our firefighters were seriously injured.”

Following the damage from the accident, work is already underway to try and repair the business’ showroom at the corner of the building.

“Thankfully all of our employees were in the shop at the rear of the building and none of us were hurt,” Master of Furniture states on its website. “The damaged corner was shored up for security and to ensure no further damage occurs. Our shop is operational and the damage will not affect our restoration work. We remain open for business while our contractors repair the corner of the building. We thank all our customers for their patronage and look forward to our new showroom.”

Master of Furniture is a local business specializing in restoring and refinishing fine furniture, homeware and antiques that has been serving the tri-state area for nearly 40 years.

This is the second time in two years that a major accident occurred involving a furniture store. The Village of Rockville Centre made headline news across the country in February 2022, when a gasoline tanker swerved to try and avoid a car, sending it crashing into the vacant La-Z-Boy furniture gallery on Sunrise Highway. 

The crash ignited a massive fireball, as the tanker’s 9,200 gallons of fuel spilled from the truck as part of the building collapsed. Black smoke and the smell of gasoline billowed in the air as the fire spread to the sewers beneath the street.

Video courtesy YouTube/ GROGANPHOTOS: