Van explosion on Norwood Avenue in Malverne


Malverne firefighters responded to a working van fire on June 24 on Norwood Avenue at the corner of Cornwell Avenue.

Firefighters arrived at Norwood Avenue shortly after the alarm was sounded at 3:20 p.m. A white van was fully engulfed in flames with heavy black smoke rising into the air. Tree branches and leaves above the van were blackened by the fire and smoke. Malverne Engine 433 responded to the fire hooking up to the hydrant on that corner and stretching a hose line to attack the blazing van.

At one point, the tires on the van exploded, as did an acetylene cylinder inside the van that blew the side door off. The explosion also blew open one of the rear doors.  As the fire was being extinguished, other cylinders and tanks were found inside the burning van.

Malverne Rescue Unit 438 also responded and used cutting tools to open the other rear door and cut through a rack holding the cylinders so they could be safely removed. The Nassau County Fire Marshal’s Office was also requested to respond to the fire. The tanks were freon and one was the acetylene tank, according to officials. The numerous freon cylinders vented inside the van and hampered the extinguishment of the fire for a brief period. The acetylene cylinder found inside the burning van was safely removed and turned over to the Fire Marshal’s.

In total, nine cylinders were inside the van and removed. Firefighters were at the scene for nearly an hour and traffic was closed off in the immediate area by the Malverne Police Department. There were no injuries and no private property was damaged.

Courtesy Fourth Battalion Fire District; compiled by Nakeem Grant