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Firefighters battle 'heavy' Long Beach blaze

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Heavy smoke and flames could be seen coming from the 600 block of West Broadway.
Courtesy Long Beach Professional Firefighter/Facebook

A Long Beach man was arrested  for allegedly starting a fire that  damaged  three houses, including his own residency on Dec. 6.

Nelson A. Valerio was arrested and charged with second-degree arson  for starting a fire at his home at 668 W. Broadway, Long Beach police officials said. The fire spread to the two neighboring houses causing structural damages.  An investigation by the Nassau County Police Department's Arson Bomb Squad concluded that Valerio was a suspect. 

Valerio, who was tranported to an area hospital for minor injuries,  was in court on Dec. 11 and held on $250,000 cash bail and bond. Nassau County District Court Judge Robert Bogle ordered a psychiatric exam for Valerio, according to court documents. 

Long Beach firefighters rushed to a house fire on Dec. 6 night where heavy smoke and flames could be seen from the 600 block of West Broadway, near the boardwalk.

Police and firefighters responded to the scene at 9:25 p.m., where Second Assistant Fire Chief Hadrick Ray called in a working fire from the rear of a home.

“Firefighters made entry into the house and began searching for potential victims as well as attempting to extinguish large pockets of fire on both the first and second floors,” the Long Beach Fire Department said in a statement on Facebook. "Additional firefighting units were brought into Long Beach from neighboring departments on the South Shore to assist with operations and cover the response district for any further emergencies.”

Officials said that firefighters had the blaze under control within an hour and no injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is still currently under investigation by the Nassau County Fire Marshal, as well as Nassau County and Long Beach police departments.