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UPDATED: Fire rips through 30-year Glen Cove business

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Fire tore through Cove Plumbing Supply Co. on Morris Avenue Monday night, sending 20 fire departments from across the North Shore and beyond racing to extinguish the fast-moving blaze. Units from the FDNY Marine Bureau were also on site.

The fire broke out between 8 and 9 p.m., according to Richard Tenen, the company’s owner.

John O’Brien Sr., of the East Meadow Fire Department, reported that more than 150 firefighters battled the blaze, which took over three hours to contain. First responders spent the early hours of Tuesday morning extinguishing the fire’s hot spots. One firefighter suffered a minor injury.

“Propane and acetylene tanks inside the warehouse were exploding during the course of the firefight, sending flames 60 feet into the air, further complicating the attack,” O’Brien said.

The exterior of the plumbing supply store, in business for three decades, remains intact, but its interior showroom, where kitchen and bath fixtures, appliances and designs were sold, was destroyed. The blaze caused parts of the ceiling to buckle and blew out most of the store’s windows.

Glen Cove Mayor Tim Tenke said he witnessed a portion of concrete wall, on the western side of the building, collapse around 11 p.m., which fell in close proximity to a natural gas line that runs to the city’s Department of Public Works. “If that wall would’ve hit that, it could’ve made the fire much worse,” he said.

Tenke said this was one of the largest fires in the city’s history. “We’re extremely proud of the Glen Cove Fire Department and the rest of the mutual aid, who did an excellent job at containing this fire,” he said. “The fact they prevented that fire from spreading to other facilities is a testament to their courage and abilities.”

“The police and fire departments did a great job, and they did the best they could,” Tenen said.

Officials from the Nassau County Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating the cause of the fire.

Officials from the county’s Hazardous Materials Response Division and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation were on site Tuesday morning to assess the water runoff from the fire that had pooled in a parking lot near the building.

More to follow on this story.