Several homes were destroyed in a quick-moving fire in a Long Island community still recovering from Sandy.
Police said an electrical problem with an air conditioner inside a home on East Santa Barbara Road in Lindenhurst sparked the fire. The homeowner's wife and child were inside the house at the time and ran out before the flames took over.
The blaze quickly spread to nearby houses, damaging five in total, officials said. At least three were totally destroyed. The fire then jumped a canal and ignited brush on nearby Indian Island County Park.
Residents say they were stunned by the intensity and height of the flames in the fire.
"All you saw was black smoke going up and then out of nowhere, flames just came up and they were twice as high as the house itself," said neighbor Neil Miranda.
"It looked like an inferno," said neighbor Tim Duhigg. "It went up really fast, and hot, real hot."
Officials say 15 fire departments responded. Two firefighters were taken to a nearby hospital for smoke inhalation. No resident was injured.
The home next to the one where the fire started had just been renovated and lifted after Sandy, and the family was set to move back in in two weeks, neighbors said.
"Families are still recovering from Sandy and for this fire to occur here is very unfortunate," said Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini.
"These are all my neighbors. We all went through Hurricane Sandy," neighbor Simon Hick said. "But you know, we're all good, we're all alive."
Storm Team 4 warns that low relative humidity combined with dry ground is making for ripe brush fire conditions. The risk continues into Thursday, and fire weather watches have been posted for New Jersey.
A pair of brush fires in New Jersey Tuesday ate through hundreds of acres in New Jersey, hampering NJ Transit service.