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Car fire on North Ferry line

THOMAS GRAFFAGNINO PHOTO A Ford Explorer ablaze just after noon Tuesday on the Clinton Avenue stretch of the North Ferry line.

THOMAS GRAFFAGNINO PHOTO
A Ford Explorer ablaze just after noon Tuesday on the Clinton Avenue stretch of the North Ferry line.

A motor vehicle caught fire just after noon Tuesday on the Shelter Island side of the North Ferry line.

The Shelter Island Fire Department responded and extinguished the blaze. There were no injuries.

According to Chief Anthony Reiter, a Suffolk County-owned Ford Explorer began smoking and caught fire while waiting in the line. Shelter Island Police officers also responded quickly, re-directing traffic to keep other vehicles away from the fire and permit emergency vehicles access to the scene.

“The car was fully engaged when we arrived,” Chief Reiter said, adding that two fire engines and a tanker truck responded.

The cause of the fire is still being determined.

Stella Lagudis, general manager of the Shelter Island Heights Property Owners Corporation, which owns North Ferry, said the fire department was actively fighting the fire when she approached the scene, at 18 Clinton Avenue.

“They were saying it was 1,800 degrees,” Ms. Lagudis said. “They fought it first with water and then with foam. There were very big flames, so high they melted the cable wires.”

Several locations in the Heights were affected by the cable outage. Ms. Lagudis also said that Clinton Avenue had recently been paved and that the new surface melts more easily than an old one, “so we will have to re-pave the damaged area.”

She added, “I’d like to give a big shout-out to the first responders, the police, fire department and EMS. It was great to see how well they responded and coordinated their efforts.”

Similarly, Chief Reiter said, “It’s nice to see when the community comes together to work for one common goal.”

Most of all, he said, he was grateful there were no injuries: “You can replace material things, but not people.”

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