Barmingdalo Publics Library
274 Main S t.
Farmingdale , N. Y. Rb. 16
^* V M k% A % j& Hi 11735
AN OFFICIAL NEVSPAPFR OF THE INCORPORATED VILLAGE OF FARMINGDAL E
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SERVING GREATER FARMINGDAL E. BETHPAGE & MELVILLE
Vol. 4 No. 24 Second Class Postage has been paid at Farmingdale, N. Y. 11735 Thursday, February 2, 1967
AVOID GAS LEAK TRAGEDY
A near tragedy was averted on Monday night in Farmingdale
when members of the Farmingdale Fire Department evacuated
150 persons in a seven block area when a gas leak was discovered
at a 12- inch gas main on Merritt Road and Fulton
Street. Many evacuated were sent to the fire house where they
stayed for several hours where they were served soup and coffee
and issued cots.
A geyser of gas spouted 25 feet into the air when a section
in the pavement gave way., The call came in to the fire department
at 10: 48 p. m. from Henry Swartz of 33 Ridge Road, Farmingdale.
Flames shot up 300 feet around a manhole.
Credit for spoting the leak and alerting the Long Island
Lighting Company was given'to Nassau County Policemen Robert
Van Nostrand and Elsworth Jennings. According to Nassau
County Police Chief Francis Looney, who is also a nearby r e s i dent,
'' The situation that existed had all the elements of a
tragedy and the alertness and speed of action exhibited by the
two patrolmen is to be commended".
A Long Island Lighting spokesman also praised the work
of the two patrolmen and his own crew. " We have a good operation
and alert people who cooperate with the police and fire
department. They worked like clockwork.
The firemen rang the doorbells and got people out of the
nearby houses as well as the Kingswood apartment house on
Fulton Street from Merritt Road to Conklin Street and all the
families from Cooper Street south of the tracks.
Many of the women were in night gowns with coats thrown
According to Fire Chief Robert Baldwin the potential danger
of a flaming explosion similar to the one on January 13 when
a gas leak erupted into a four block area in Jamaica was there.
As a matter of fact a policeman lit a flare in order to divert
traffic 70 feet east from the geyser and it ignited, then blew
up indicating that gas had seaped through the telephone mains.
He said that it was fortunate that the night was not humid because
it is harder to get rid of the gas. As it was it took two
hours before it was shut off by the Long Island Lighting Company.
When asked whether Farmingdale had ever suffered from a gas
leak before he answered that there was the tragedy of 1952
when a bank blew up and killed two and injured five. It was the
Farmingdale Federal Savings and Loan on the corner of Conklin
and Washington Street and Fred Murray, who had served as
mayor from 1939- 1947 was one of the fatalities.
The flame dancing out of a main near the apartment house
was finally extinguished and the gas leak was capped.
The gas was finally shut off at 12: 40 a. m.
Police and firemen raced from building to building leading
people to safetv. Some got on fire trucks others took their cars
and stayed with relatives or friends.
Mrs. Mary Pearmutter of 210- 218 Fulton Street said she was
asleep when a fireman banged on her door about 11: 45 p. m.
Volunteer crews from Farmingdale, East Farmingdale and
South Farmingdale stood by until the danger had passed.
LILCO found at 4: 45 a. m. a crack around the circumference
of the pipe after digging a 20 foot long trench along the line.
They placed an iron collar around it that night.
By 1: 30 a. m. the danger was declared over. They had used
meter readings to determine the gas present. The danger zone
is from 60 to 100%.
According to a spokesman of the Long Island Lighting Company
there is no longer any danger in the area. The pipe was r e placed
the following day by a new 12 inch steel main with compression
clamps. A thorough check was made through the area
and the rest of the pipes are in good condition. Officials from
the State Public Service Commission and the County Fire
Marshall's office investigated.
Looking over some of the gilts lor Vietnamese children gathered this week
a r e members of the Vietnam Assistance Committee of Farmingdale. Reading
from 1. to r. are Alton Lamphere, President; Phyllis Hostetter, Vice
President; and Ron Shircore, Treasurer . The group, which has adopted
680 service men and their program of ' Operation Helping Hand,' is planning
a benefit dance on Saturday, April 1 at the Sons of Italy Hall. < F0kre8 » pbeto)
' Dig We Must* was the action by the Long Island
Lighting Company on Monday night and all day
Tuesday to not only repair the gas leak but put in
a new steel pipe. The tragedy was averted
due to the quick thinking of the Eighth Precinct
of the Nassau County Police and the Farmingdale
Fire Department. ( See Story)
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