Fire Burns Through Shops on Busy Jericho Turnpike in New York

(New York -WABC, Sept. 27, 2005) - A contractor digging up a New Hyde Park sidewalk struck a gas line, sparking a fire that engulfed a row of stores, officials said.

John Delgiorno has the story live in Newscopter 7. The contractor was installing electric conduits for street lighting on Jericho Turnpike when a gas main or gas service line was ruptured just after 10:00 a.m.

Witnesses reported seeing sparks and flames shooting from the street, which quickly spread to nearby businesses. The flames quickly spread through a row of stores, with apartments above them, according to authorities.

Firefighters rushed to evacuate one of the flaming buildings moments before it collapsed. One firefighter was injured battling the flames.

Keyspan workers shut off the gas. They said the contractors were not working for them.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

(Copyright 2005 WABC-TV)

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