QUEENS, NEW YORK—The darkened sky turned bright yellow along Douglaston Parkway as a sprawling wood frame home turned into a raging inferno. When fire units arrived, the building was fully engulfed in flames and firefighters had to move cautiously in their efforts to douse the flames.
Nor Sachar and a group of friends were on the way to a party when they heard a crackling noise and turned to see flames belching from every window. “It was scary,” Sacher told PIX11 News. He shot video with his cell phone that showed just how ferocious the flames were. Jim McCann lives next door. He told us he was having dinner when he heard popping explosions and saw the flames roaring out of control. “I was having dinner. I dropped everything, grabbed my dogs and ran like hell,” he said.
Neighbors said the house had been undergoing renovation for some time and construction there had become a source of protest. Workers were at the property just hours before the fire broke out shortly after 8 p.m.
Battalion Chief James Doherty said the property was sprawling, 90 feet into the interior, which made it difficult for firefighters to gain access. The fire quickly went to three alarms. Jean Guo, who has lived in the house with her husband for five years, told PIX11 News nobody was in the house during renovation. Looking at the home ravaged by fire, she said tearfully, “We lost everything.” Fire Marshals were at the scene trying to determine the cause of the fire.