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Feb 23, 2011 12:32 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Injured Hampton Bays Firefighters Released From Hospital

Feb 23, 2011 12:32 PM

The two Hampton Bays firefighters injured on February 14 when a floor collapsed beneath them while they were battling a house fire rode home from the hospital last week in the same fire trucks they rode to the scene of the fire—a fire department tradition, according to Hampton Bays Fire Chief Stefan Borell—and both are recovering in their homes this week.

While the two firefighters have been identified by numerous sources as Lewis Scott, a sergeant with the Southampton Town Police Department, and Shay Lohr, a local masonry carpenter, fire department officials have declined to confirm their identities.

Both firefighters—who were being treated at Stony Brook University Medical Center—declined to be interviewed, saying that they needed time to recover from their injuries.

They were injured while battling an overnight blaze on Quail Run in Hampton Bays in the early morning hours of February 14. The first floor of the home collapsed beneath them, propelling them to the basement.

Chief Borell said on Friday that many more firefighters might have suffered injuries battling the blaze if not for the heroic efforts of several firefighters who kept their fellow volunteers away from the crumbling floor of the burning building after the two firefighters fell into the basement. Chief Borell did not identify the firefighters.

A statement from the chief, circulated by the Southampton Town Police Department last Thursday, February 17, noted that the two firefighters “are at home with their families, recovering from the injuries they sustained at the scene.” The statement does not state when they pair was discharged from the hospital.

A hospital spokesperson confirmed last Thursday morning that Mr. Lohr was discharged, but she could not say when. The same official said she had no information about Mr. Scott.

Three other Hampton Bays firefighters, who have also not been identified, were taken to Southampton Hospital where they were treated for smoke inhalation following the Valentine’s Day blaze. All were treated and then released on the morning of February 14, according to Chief Borell. “They were sent over to be checked,” he said. “They were released by 6 a.m.”

Chief Borell said that the fire had emotionally affected several firefighters who were trying to cope with the events of that day. “We had a crisis counselor come in after it,” he said, adding that fires of that magnitude do not often occur in the hamlet. “We’re trying to cope with it.”

Southampton Town Fire Marshall Brian Williams, who has not returned calls this week, said last week that his department was still investigating the cause of the blaze, though he hoped to determine its cause by early this week.

Southampton Town Chief Fire Marshal Cheryl Kraft, meanwhile, announced on Tuesday that the town has made changes to its computer reporting system. She said that the town will now keep records of the types of wood used in the construction of new homes and houses that are being renovated. She explained that such reports could provide firefighters with better information before they enter a burning structure.

According to the press release, new materials are posing issues for firefighters because beams made from “wood composites” often fail quickly when heated, compared to solid wood beams. “In an effort to provide pertinent construction data to the local fire service, the town will now be adding information to the computer program for renovations and new constructions to be able to compile lists of locations using such products,” according to the press release.

Mr. Williams could not confirm what kind of beams supported the floor of the home involved in the Hampton Bays blaze.

The fire chief, meanwhile, said he and all the volunteers at the fire department were wishing Mr. Lohr and Sgt. Lewis speedy recoveries. “We would like to thank all the physicians, nurses, and all the support staff at Stony Brook University Medical Center’s Burn Center for the outstanding care they provided to our two firefighters,” Chief Borell said in a statement released last week. “It is comforting to know we have such great care available to us when needed.”

The chief also thanked the East Quogue, Southampton and Flanders fire departments for their assistance battling the blaze, along with the Hampton Bays, Southampton Village and Flanders-Northampton volunteer ambulance companies for their assistance.

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WHEW!! So glad to hear the good news! Glad everyone is okay and on the mend! What a great community we live in!
By honeylamb (71), East Quogue on Feb 17, 11 1:13 PM
1 member liked this comment
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