Garbage Fire Stalls LIRR Service Overnight

NEW YORK -

A massive fire in a garbage facility on Grand Boulevard in Westbury, Long Island damaged nearby railroad tracks and delayed train service for several hours overnight.

The 10-alarm fire broke out at 9 p.m. Wednesday night and was finally brought under control around 11 a.m. after 60 fire departments sent trucks and more than 300 firefighters to battle the flames.

Firefighters struggled to douse the flames, as the facility was not accessible from all sides.

“What made the operation very hard is the fact that the building is basically full, floor to ceiling, of garbage and packaged garbage, which is ready to be shipped,” Westbury Fire Chief Kenneth Gass said. “So we had to attack it from the exterior, and again, not being able to attack it from both sides of the building caused a delay in the tactics and a real hardship for the fire department.”

By 8:30 a.m. on Thursday most of the LIRR trains were proceeding normally, ABC 7 reported.

Service was suspended east of Mineola, and the Ronkonkoma branch was suspended entirely.

There were no injuries reported, and firefighters do not believe it was an act of arson. Rather, garbage and recyclables at the Jamaica Ash & Rubbish Removal Company caught fire.

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smarcus@hamodia.com