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Firefighter arrives to find own house in flames

By Julie Cannold, CNN
updated 8:10 AM EDT, Wed March 13, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The firefighter's wife and kids escape unharmed
  • A pickup truck driver had crashed into a gas line at the house
  • Cosgrove was named firefighter of the year in 2012

New York (CNN) -- When the call came in that a pickup truck had slammed into a house, igniting a fire, volunteer firefighter Michael Cosgrove and his fellow firemen in the New York hamlet of Selden rushed to the scene.

It was only when their fire trucks neared the street that Cosgrove realized that the fire he'd be fighting would be at his own house.

"He realized it was his address that was actually on fire," Cosgrove's neighbor Nelson Ortiz told CNN affiliate WCBS. "So he jumped out, he left everything out of the vehicle, and he started work."

The firefighter's wife and two children, ages 9 and 7, were in the home and were able to escape unharmed.

The fire started after the driver of a pickup truck, who authorities said was under the influence of drugs, lost control and crashed into a natural gas line at the house.

The impact engulfed both the truck and house in flames, Suffolk County Police said.

The driver of the truck was arrested.

The call that came into the fire station was from the house next to Cosgrove's, leading firefighters to think that's where the fire was, Selden Fire Chief Joseph Leavens said.

Last year, Cosgrove was named firefighter of the year for rescuing a man from a burning building as he waited for other firefighters to arrive.

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