Hurricane Sandy sparked 94 fires across New York City, but none of them as bad as the one in Breezy Point.
Searing through 126 homes in the seaside Queens neighborhood, the blaze ranks among the worst in New York City history. Spread by hurricane winds, flames raged for 10 hours, sweeping from home-to-home, according to area media.
For the community's battered volunteer fire department, the storm and subsequent fire came with an especially heavy toll.
"(Breezy Point) was inundated with floodwaters and winds," said Moon Township Fire Chief John Scott. "And the fire department lost everything. Lost buildings, lost trucks, lost all of their equipment.
"They were devastated," said Scott, who estimated that the department sustained more than $2 million in hurricane-related damages.
Now, Moon Township will offer up its former 1989 pumper rescue firetruck to Breezy Point's volunteer fire company—one of nine volunteer departments in the city not a part of the New York Fire Department.
The truck, valued between $8,000 and $10,000, should be awarded to Breezy Point in the coming months—Moon firefighters will deliver it themselves, Scott said.
It was ideal timing for the donation, he said. Moon's fire company has just received a new truck, and planned to sell off two older vehicles in its place.
One of the vehicles has been sold to Neville Island's volunteer fire department, at a discounted price, Scott said.
The other vehicle is a perfect fit for Breezy Point—the Moon Board of Supervisors approved the donation Wednesday in a 4-to-0 vote.
"I think this is a really great opportunity that our firefighters are giving to this department in Breezy Point, New York," said Supervisor Jim Vitale at the meeting.
Scott said he was at a meeting for area fire chiefs when he learned of the Breezy Point fire department and its struggle in the weeks since Hurricane Sandy.
He said the department has been in communication with Breezy Point's fire chief—the Rockaways fire company is eager to receive the vehicle.
"(The Moon Township Volunteer Fire Department) is really excited about the donation," Scott said.