BY MICHAEL RICONDA
The fire, which occurred at 205 Quaspeck Boulevard, was reported to police at 6:15 p.m. Fire inspectors believe the explosion was ignited by a leaking gas line in a station wagon left running in the garage while the driver, homeowner Bruce Pollack, went inside to make a call.
The explosion was dramatic, blowing the roof off the houseand the garage wall outward before engulfing the entire building. Valley Cottage residents reported a sound and sight of a large fireball from the property and issued numerous 911 calls to report the explosion.
Shortly thereafter, fire personnel with the Valley Cottage, West Nyack, New City and Congers Fire Departments responded to the scene and worked to quell the blaze. By the time the fire had been extinguished, the building had been completely destroyed.
Pollack and his wife, who were the only ones at home at the time, managed to escape unharmed, but injuries were reported among three fire personnel, including one firefighter who suffered burns to his face, a second who got debris in his eye and a third who injured his leg.
None of the injuries proved to be serious. The firefighter who injured his leg was treated at Nyack Hospital, but released shortly thereafter.
Along with their house, the Pollacks also lost their pet guinea pigs in the blaze. The two have received an outpouring of assistance from friends, neighbors and members of the Nanuet Hebrew Center, where Bruce Pollack serves as co-president. The couple is now temporarily housed at a hotel.