Krista McNallyNov 13, 2017, 11:50 pmNov 15, 2017, 12:33 pm

Small fire causes huge response at Port Washington senior living center

Several departments were called to the assisted living residence


PORT WASHINGTON — A small fire caused a massive response at the Amsterdam at Harborside Senior Living Community which houses assisted living accommodations and hospice care on Monday.

The fire broke out on the 6th floor and as a result smoke filled the room, and the sprinkler system went off.

The Port Washington Fire Department confirmed that seven departments responded to the scene as well as the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management, the Nassau County Fire Marshall, and the Nassau County Emergency Ambulance Bureau.

"We were sitting in my living room when the alarm went off. We were talking and I said to them, ‘Don't worry, it goes off frequently and it isn't anything to be concerned about,’" said 93-year-old Larry Bober who is a resident there and just got out of the hospital this week. At first, he thought nothing of the alarms while spending time with his daughter.

"Shortly after someone knocked on our door and said, ‘Get out, it’s a real fire,'" he said.

After going to the elevators and attempting to get out on his wheelchair, he soon realized he would have to go down five flights of steps to get out. A very frightening scenario for many of the elderly people.

"They took care of everyone, those of us that could take care of ourselves and those who couldn't they took care of," he said.

According to the executive director, the fire is believed to be started by a phone charger plugged into the wall, but he did stress that that is not confirmed by the investigation at this point. The 5th and 6th-floor residents were evacuated and we do not have an exact number on how many were taken out.

"We had one person removed and transported to the hospital," Port Washington FD Chief Bryan Vogeley said.

That person is believed to be the resident of the 6th-floor apartment where the fire began. That person was evaluated and released from the hospital.

The fire is under investigation.

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