Garden City community in disbelief after 3 family members killed in house fire
A fast-moving house fire in Garden City that claimed the lives of three family members Thursday has left the community in disbelief.
The call for the fire came in just before 6 a.m. for a home at 148 Washington Ave. Fire officials say 12 departments and about 75 firefighters responded to the scene.
Nassau Assistant Chief Fire Marshall Michael Uttaro says there were reports of people trapped.
"It was a chaotic scene. They were doing what they do best - trying to make a push, including the police officers on scene trying to see if they could save a life," says Uttaro.
News 12 is told one of the police officers tried to kick down the front door but was driven back by the intense heat and flames.
The deadly fire hit close to home for many in the tight-knit neighborhood, including Garden City Police Commissioner Kenneth Jackson, who knows the family killed in the blaze.
"The fire marshal did bring a chaplain to the scene, and he did help us and the family and firefighters but we're getting through it and the community is suffering," says Jackson.
Uttaro says some departments who came to work on the Garden City fire came over from the Westbury fire that started late Wednesday night.
Garden City schools Superintendent Kusum Sinha released a statement saying, "We are heartbroken to learn that the devastating house fire claimed the lives of three beloved individuals, including a Garden City High School student. This tragedy affects our entire community as we mourn this immeasurable loss, and our hearts go out to everyone who knew them."Sinha says the school will have grief counselors and psychologists available to students and families in need of support during this difficult time.
Neighbor Kathy Ford says the woman who lives in the house is an active PTA member and her daughter is a senior at Garden City High School.
"This is a community tragedy. It's horrible," says Ford. "I'm getting upset just talking about it. I can't talk about it. They're a lovely family."