Orient house fire began in garage lighting fixture


Investigators who never believed the fire that gutted an Orient garage and spread into the adjoining home Monday afternoon was suspicious have discovered that the cause was electrical, beginning in a light fixture.

But before firefighters left the site at about 10 p.m. three of the 55 volunteer responding were taken to Eastern Long Island Hospital to be checked out for heat exposure and other ailments, Joe Wysocki, chief of the Orient Fire Department said Monday night.

All were treated and released, the chief said.

One firefighter showed signs of heat exposure, another suffered from smoke inhalation and the third with back pain, said the chief. None was seriously injured.

Firefighters had the blaze under control by about 6 p.m. Monday.

The fire apparently crossed a deck and into a crawlspace in the house at 600 Majors Pond Road off Village Lane, causing a partial collapse of a first floor corner into the basement, the chief said.

The fire broke out in the Ozolins family’s garage early Monday afternoon. Alerted by the family, the Orient FD requested, and received, assistance from all North Fork fire departments from Mattituck east. At least 55 volunteers responded with about 24 tankers and other fire apparatus, chief Wysocki said.

The chief said that as the fire continued the country stores in East Marion and Orient and the Hellenic Snack Bar brought food and beverages for the volunteers.

“Everyone definitely helped out,” he said. “It was a great community response.”

The Red Cross contacted the department offering its services, but members of the Ozolins family spent the night with friends.