Roslyn, NY

How'd it start? Arson Squad wants to know how a Roslyn office building went up in flames


Nassau County's Arson Bomb Squad detectives are investigating the cause of the fire Saturday night in a 3-story office building on Northern Boulevard in Roslyn.

Harmonious Pilates Studio. 7 psychologists. A speech pathologist and a large Flower Hill dental practice. Dozens of professional offices at 1025 Northern Boulevard were completely destroyed Saturday night, Feb. 4, 2023, crippling the small local businesses in one of the fiercest blazes recorded on the North Shore of Long Island.

The cause: Still unknown.

Police confirm the 37-alarm fire was called in just before 6 p.m. Then a second alarm. 30 minutes later, a third alarm went out as the 3-story building erupted in flames, desperate volunteer firefighters working furiously in freezing temperatures well into the night.

Nassau County 6th Precinct closed off Port Washington Boulevard and 25A/Northern Boulevard in front of Americana Shopping Center to clear the way for firetrucks from Great Neck, Glen Cove, Manhasset, Mineola, Sea Cliff and other neighborhoods. Public buses sat parked for hours by Benihana across the street, waiting for the road to reopen.
A massive fire burned a Roslyn medical office building to the ground Saturday night, shutting down 25A and Port Washington Blvd.Photo byC.J. Teevan

But the fire continued to spread.

Plumes of smoke rose like cumulus clouds over the office building, orange flames glowing like a summer rooftop barbeque. Realizing they needed more water, firefighters stretched a hose across Port Washington Boulevard through Benihana's parking lot, past Whole Foods, and broke through a fence to reach a fire hydrant in residential Flower Hill. The hose connected, police closed off access to Benihana, Whole Foods and a Chase satellite ATM to block vehicles from driving over the hose in the parking lot.

American Red Cross and Nassau County's Office of Emergency Management waited for hours across the street as the building continued to burn.

Ambulances were stationed at the scene. Incredibly, no one died; 3 firefighters were treated at nearby hospitals for minor injuries, according to police.

On Sunday morning volunteers returned to clean up the mess left by sand and white Styrofoam insulation, blown off the building by blasts of water used to quell the blaze. A firefighter who asked not to be identified said they were making sure there were no burning embers left that could re-ignite another blaze.

The same building was site of a smaller fire last year on the ground floor. The minor damage near the back entrance was promptly repaired. No cause was disclosed in that incident.

6th Precinct Detectives, Nassau County Fire Marshall Investigators and Arson Bomb Squad Detectives have launched a probe into what caused the fire this time.

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Civil rights activist and investigative journalist C.J. Teevan has covered L.I. news for the New York Times, computerized consumer products for Gannett Newspapers, and retail trends for business magazines. She lives in Roslyn, N.Y. with 3 dogs.

Roslyn Heights, NY

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