A fire that swept through the second floor of an Acre Lane home Wednesday morning claimed the life of a 23-year-old man and left four family members displaced.
At 9:50 a.m., the Hicksville Fire Department responded to a report of a house fire with a person trapped. A Hicksville firefighter who lived nearby entered the home and found Richard Greene unconscious in a second floor bedroom. Engine 932 was first on scene and firefighters entered the second floor through a window and stairway.
Greene was rushed to Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow in critical condition. He succumbed to his injuries about an hour later. According to fire officials, two other residents who were on the first floor at the time of the blaze were evacuated from the home without injury.
The Hicksville Fire Department was assisted by the Bethpage, Jericho, Plainview, Syosset, Westbury and East Meadow fire departments with some 60 firefighters battling the blaze. Three firefighters were injured; one suffered smoke inhalation and two suffered burns.
Volunteers from the American Red Cross in Nassau County responded to the scene to provide assistance. According to volunteer Margaret Bullwinkel, the Nassau Red Cross provided the survivors with shelter in a nearby motel, along with funds for food and clothing. Additionally, trained volunteers provided emotional support to help family and friends cope with their loss.
The Arson Bomb Squad and the Nassau County Fire Marshal are investigating; as of press time, the cause of the fire was undetermined but deemed non-suspicious. Fire officials report that the home was not equipped with working smoke detectors.