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Chief Fights Back Tears After Firehouse Blaze

'It's tremendous,' says Joseph Pascale. 'And on Christmas'
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 25, 2019 1:30 PM CST
Updated Dec 25, 2019 2:00 PM CST

(Newser) – A Long Island fire chief fought tears as he faced two fire engines, a ladder truck, and an ambulance—all destroyed in a Christmas fire. "This is what we do on a daily basis to help everybody, and it happened to us," North Massapequa Fire Department Chief Joseph Pascale told the New York Post on Wednesday. "It's tremendous. And on Christmas." Spotted by a state trooper at 6am, the firehouse blaze ripped through the unoccupied building, drawing firefighters from 20 to 25 departments. Three explosions kept them from rescuing the trucks, but it didn't last long and no one got hurt, per the Nassau Daily Voice.

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"It was a quick knockdown," Pascale told Newsday. "Our fire wall held, which kept it from the main part of the building." The cause remains unknown, but the damage is clear, and fire officials are already offering Pascale's team "equipment, firehouses, whatever we need" to "come back better." But he struggled when talking about everyone who helped: "I can't thank them enough as well as my own members, for doing such a great job on Christmas morning," he said of the 120 firefighters who pitched in. "They came from their families and they're here." (Read more firefighters stories.)

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