PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | A Riverhead Fire Department brush truck heads into the woods near a Calverton development Tuesday afternoon.
Riverhead firefighters doused a brush fire the length of a football field in a section of woods near a Calverton development Tuesday evening, preventing the fire from spreading, fire officials said.
Fire officials were called to the Calverton Hills development at 5:09 p.m. to investigate reports of people smelling smoke near the basketball courts off Wooded Way, said first assistant chief Joseph Raynor. Fire chiefs soon located the fire across the street in a hilly section of woods behind a series of apartment buildings, he said.
The fire, which was roughly 100 yards across, was put out by firefighters using pumpers and brush trucks, Mr. Raynor said. Firefighters used the brush trucks — vehicles specifically designed to knock down trees — to clear a path to the fire.
The volunteers also had to contend with onlookers, some of whom were children who ran close to the fire trucks or rode their bikes around them as the firefighters tried to enter the woods.
By 6 p.m., the fire was extinguished and fire crews were spraying the ground with water to “mop up” any smoldering remains of the fire.
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Joe Coffey with his dog that was rescued from the fire.
A couple whose Calverton Hills townhouse caught fire Saturday afternoon said they were forced to use a kerosene heater since their landlord shut off their power four days ago.
Joe Coffey, 50, said he was in Southampton when neighbors called him about 3 p.m. to say they saw smoke pouring out of the place he shares with girlfriend Sharon Taylor, 33, and their two pitbulls. The family moved in last summer.
“I love my dogs,” said Mr. Coffey as he cuddled his white pitbull. “We used the heaters so our dogs would stay warm.”
Mr. Coffey said he and Ms. Taylor weren’t home at the time of the fire that started at 105 Hills Spur and spread to the adjacent townhouse, 104. Riverhead Fire Chief Tony White said he believed a woman escaped and a dog was rescued at the scene. No injuries were reported.
Riverhead and Flanders Fire Departments responded to the scene. Firefighters were on the roof breaking holes as smoke came pouring out of the building. They also threw chairs and boxes out the window.
It was unclear what started the fire, which was brought under control at 3:40 p.m. Mr. Coffey didn’t say exactly what he suspected caused the fire, but did mention about the kerosene heaters. The Brookhaven Town fire marshal was called to the scene to investigate.
No other details on the woman rescued were immediately available.
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Firefighters work on the roof a Calverton home Saturday afternoon.