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Long Beach firefighters battle West End blaze

Crews also rushed to smoke at movie theater, suspected arson in Cedarhurst


Long Beach firefighters responded to a number of emergency calls earlier this week, including a West End building fire, reports of smoke at the Long Beach movie theater and a Cedarhurst blaze in which a man was charged with arson.

Firefighters rushed to a fire in a vacant commercial building at 53 Arizona Ave. at around 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Fire Chief Joe Miller said. The first firefighters on the scene noticed heavy smoke coming from the second floor of the building, where residential apartments are located. People living in the apartments were not at home at the time, he added.

Long Beach firefighters entered the building with two hose lines, Fire Commissioner Scott Kemins said, while others ventilated the space. The fire was under control and extinguished within 20 minutes, and no injuries were reported, Kemins added.

Miller said one apartment had damage to the bedroom and living room. Nassau County Fire Marshals arrived at the scene to conduct an investigation and determined that a floor lamp next to a bed was the source of the fire.

“We don’t know why — if it was a surge or overheating,” Miller said, “but it was a floor lamp.”

The Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department assisted, Kemins said, and the Island Park Fire Department and Atlantic Beach Rescue supplied additional ambulances in case they were needed.

During the fire, the Inwood, Oceanside and Point Lookout-Lido Fire Departments stood by in Long Beach firehouses in case other alarms came in.

A few minutes before the West End fire, Long Beach firefighters responded to a minor oven fire at 60 Heron Street, and Miller said no injuries were reported.

Additionally, firefighters received a call for smoke in theater 3 of Long Beach Cinema 4 at around 6:15 p.m., Miller said.

“After an investigation, it was determined that the projector was the cause of the smoke, and it was going into the vent system and spreading through the building, so we shut it down and alleviated the problems,” Miller said, adding that movie theater guests did not need to be evacuated.

Two days earlier, Long Beach units assisted the Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department with a house fire on 1st Street early Saturday morning at around 6:30 a.m.

Nassau County police said Cedarhurst resident Brian Alejo, 21, attacked his father with a weapon and assaulted his mother before fleeing his house to a residence on 1st Street. Alejo allegedly hid in the garage for several hours before starting a fire that police said engulfed the house and partially damaged a neighboring residence.

Police said the people living in both houses safely escaped the fire and no injuries were reported. Alejo was arrested and charged with attempted murder, assault, arson, criminal possession of a weapon and attempted escape, according to Nassau police.

The Long Beach Fire Department said the fire was under control within an hour, and all Long Beach units returned home without any injuries.