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EMFD attacks early morning restaurant fire during heat wave


On July 26th at 8:47 a.m., as temperatures were climbing towards the 90's, volunteers of the East Meadow Fire Department were alerted to a report of a Building Fire at the Kabayan Grill at 1634 Front Street. Additional 911 information over the radio advised that employees state the building is on fire.

Just three minutes into the alarm Engine 612 radioed their response along with Chief James Walsh, and his Asst Chiefs Paul Kosiba, Peter Cheswick, and Phil Fertitta.

Once on scene, Chief Walsh radioed "Smoke Showing" a typical terms that gives a heads up to responders of the work ahead. A short time later, Chief Walsh upgraded the alarm to a Signal 98 (First pumper in connects to a fire hydrant and stretches (2) attack hose lines to the front door). The Signal 98 also upgraded the alarm adding Engine 613, Engine 614, and Rescue 615, filling out East Meadow's General alarm assignment.

The nod for the Signal 98 was given to "First Due" Engine Company # 2 now arriving just 4 minutes into the alarm and "Hitting the Hydrant" across the street.

Minutes later, two 2.5" attack lines were at the entrance charged with water as Ladder 1 members began pulling ceilings to locate the fire.

Within 10 minutes, smoke began to clear as the balance of East Meadow's seven companies lined the street.

Although the actual fire damage was confined to the underside of the roof and a few joists, damage to pull ceilings to expose the fire was equaling significant. The quick attack resulted in no major structural damage that could affect the future of the building.

Rescue 5 established a medical treatment area in the event of injuries. There were none.

With a large response of members, Chief Walsh began releasing unused companies.

The quick response and successful fireground operation resulted in no need for any assistance from neighboring fire departments.

In all, 90 East Meadow volunteers responded to the fire.

Other agencies on scene were PSE&G to cut power to the building, the Nassau County Fire Marshal to determine the cause, the Nassau County Health Department to enforce food service codes, and the Nassau County Police who assisted in scene control.

John J. O'Brien is an active Ex Chief of the East Meadow Fire Department. He is the District Supervisor of the Jericho Fire District and has over 40 years of Dispatch and Supervisory experience.