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UPDATED: Fire rips through 30-year G.C. business


Fire tore through Cove Plumbing Supply Co. on Morris Avenue Monday night, sending over 30 fire departments from across the North Shore and beyond racing to extinguish the fast-moving blaze.

The fire broke out around 10 p.m. The Glen Cove Fire Department was dispatched at 10:03. Chief Robert Marino, addressing the public at a City Council meeting Tuesday night, said it took nine and a half hours for firefighters to secure the flames.

“The police and fire departments did a great job,” said Richard Tenen, the owner of Cove Plumbing Supply. “They did the best they could.”

John O’Brien Sr., of the East Meadow Fire Department, reported that more than 150 firefighters battled the blaze. First responders spent the early hours of Tuesday morning extinguishing the fire’s hot spots. According to Marino, no injuries were reported.

“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.

Marino said that three marine units — from FDNY, Bayville and Port Washington — fought the fire from boats in nearby Glen Cove Creek. “They did a tremendous job with those boats,” he said. “They put a lot of water on the fire where we needed it, [and] where it was hard for us to get to.” Marino also made mention of the efforts of the Glen Cove Harbor Patrol, the Glen Cove Police and Auxiliary Departments and Glen Cove’s Emergency Medical Services.

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.”

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. A spokesperson from the DEC told the Herald Gazette Wednesday morning that no chemicals or adhesives had been identified in the runoff.