BENEFITING: POINT BREEZE VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPT INC
HOURS PLEDGED: 45
BREEZY POINT, NY FIRES – A COMMUNITY BUILT BY FIREFIGHTERS IS DEVASTED BY FIRES
Approximately 100 closely-situated homes in this Queens borough of NYC burned to their foundations during Hurricane Sandy. Apparently a gas leak caused a home to ignite and winds from the storm spread the flames from the roof of one house, to the next, etc. until an entire block of homes was completely destroyed. Fortunately, there were not many casualties because the area was located in an early evacuation zone. But the devastation has been tremendous, as families literally saw on TV the flames consuming their homes --leaving them nothing to come home to later. A large section of the community was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, in part because firefighters couldn't get there.
The town of Breezy Point had a unique human interest story of its own, even before this tragedy occurred. Breezy Point is a close-knit, middle-class community where many firefighters and first responders live. Breezy Point was built in part by New York City firefighters and their families in the early 1900s. The idyllic community of around 3,800 homes – many wooden bungalows, packed tightly together – sits on an isolated spit of land, connected to mainland New York City by two bridges.
It has been reported that more than 30 firefighters who resided in Breezy Point died in efforts to save people at the World Trade Center on 9/11. The small, closely situated homes have been passed down through generations, as they are some of the very few located on the shoreline within commuting distance to Manhattan that middle-class people can afford.
Maybe if fire retardant treated wood had been used, the firefighters would have had more time to get to these homes during Hurricane Sandy, and there would have been less devastation. Even though I do not live near Breezy Point, I have been touched by their story. So, as someone who works with a company involved in fire retardant treated wood, it is my hope and prayer that when the good folks of Breezy Point re-build, they can do so with this type of wood.