At 2:14 a.m. on Sunday, July 3, 2005, the was alerted to a reported house on Midland Drive.
Within minutes Assistant Chief Eric Becker arrived on the scene, and reported a Signal 10 (Working Fire) confirming a person trapped. As Chief Becker donned his equipment, and entered the structure to search for the victim, the first units from Stations 1 and 2 were already on the road.
Officers from the Nassau County Police Department also responded and made attempts to assist in the rescue. Chief Neil Rohde soon arrived on the scene, and assumed command of the department. As first due Engine Company 2 firefighters worked to stretch lines and gain control of the fire originating on the first floor, the search and rescue effort was underway on the second floor.
Shortly thereafter, East Meadow volunteers emerged at a second floor window with the resident of the home as Chief Becker and members of Ladder Co #1, Engine 1 and Engine 4, located and removed the victim. Ladder 2 members under the direction of Second Asst Chief John O'Brien continued in the rescue operation removing the resident from the window, down the roof to the ground, into the hands of the waiting members of Rescue Company #5.
The resident was transported to and died a short time later.
A total of 85 firefighters and Medical Technicians, from 7 Companies of the East Meadow Fire Department responded to the scene. From the scene, Chief Rohde quickly requested mutual aid units from North Bellmore, North Merrick, Wantagh, Bellmore, Levittown and Uniondale who were used to suppliment firefighting crews, transport EMFD members to the Hospital, provided Rapid Intervention Teams ready in the event a Firefighter became trapped.
Others stood by at East Meadow stations in the event of any other emergencies in town. Three East Meadow firefighters suffered injuries, two of which were transported to the Medical Center.
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