By Mike Busch
My friend Steve Souhrada was driving from Bay Shore back to Oak Beach this morning when he ran into a wall of black smoke on Ocean Parkway in the middle of the blizzard. With very limited visibility his daughter Ciena called Brendan Reynolds, Chief of the Fair Harbor Fire Department, who relayed the call to the the Babylon Fire Department. As it turns out, initial reports are at least two homes on fire and the Babylon Fire Department is on scene.
The current blizzard conditions are hampering the efforts as the only access to Oak Island is by boat and there is heavy ice in the area. On top of that, the island has no road, water, or electricity.
With heavy ice conditions in the bay boats are unable to operate.
The video below was posted to the Babylon Fire Department Facebook Page.
As you can see in the photos by Tim Harrison below, the Fire Department is utilizing a hover craft from the Lakeland Fire Department to reach the fire. Suffolk County Police Marine Bureau is also assisting.
Update: The Babylon Fire Department reported late this afternoon that two homes on the southeast side of the island were completely destroyed but fortunately there were no injuries. Great job by all involved in nearly impossible conditions.