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Brush Fire Closes Horseblock Road

Overnight fire at compost facility brings in several fire departments.

A large brush fire broke out at the Long Island Compost facility in Yaphank around 2:30 a.m. Monday, shutting down traffic both ways on Horse Block Road.

Fire departments from Medford, Mastic, South Country, Manorville and Brookhaven town are working to put out the fire.

Brookhaven Town Fire Department Second Assistant Chief Bruce Mazza said that firefighters began responding at 2:40 a.m. A total of 20 fire and three emergency medical services departments, including 150 firefighters, were called to the scene. Mazza said there are no injuries and that the fire is under control.

The press was not allowed inside of the compost facility, but smoke from the fire was visible for miles. Mazza said the fire is deep inside the compost pile, and that bulldozers are trying to pull it out.

"Fire is burning deep inside, and we are dumping water on top of it from above," Mazza said.

Mazza described the fire as being 15-to-75 feet long, and about the area of half a football field.

Mazza also said the hydrants are close to being sucked dry, and as a result tank trunks filled with water are being brought in.

A worker leaving the facility at 7:15 a.m. said the fire was almost put out, but a Brookhaven Fire Police officer outside the facility said these fires can take hours or days to put out.

Due to the extreme temperatures, rehab tents have been set up with food, water, fans, and basic medical testing.

Charles Vigliotti, President and CEO of Long Island Compost, said in a statement issued by the company's public relations firm that this is the first fire that has occurred at the Yaphank transfer station in its ten years of operation.

Patchogue Patch will continue to update this story.

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