About 20 people were forced into the cold Friday night when a fire ripped through an Albertson town house, causing the roof to collapse, authorities said.
The two-story building -- at the end of a row of town houses -- was unoccupied at the time of the 6:15 p.m. fire, said Michael Uttaro, assistant chief of the Nassau fire marshal's office.
Toward the end of the night, one firefighter was transported to a hospital with minor injuries, Uttaro said, but no one else was hurt.
Authorities hope to get the people who live in adjoining town houses back in their homes as soon as possible, but Uttaro said most of them would be displaced at least through the night. The American Red Cross was on scene to help those people, Uttaro said.
"We have our teams out there to insure that anyone who needs it will receive emergency housing, blankets, food, and money for food and clothing," said Michael de Vulpillieres, a spokesman for the Red Cross, adding that 14 units were affected. "It's obviously freezing cold outside and these are tough conditions to deal with, so we're there for those people."
About 150 firefighters from a dozen departments battled the blaze at 154 I.U. Willets Rd. The fire was contained at about 9 p.m., but Uttaro said firefighters would remain on scene throughout the night.
"There were frozen hoses, frozen streets and frozen firefighters . . . but they did a tremendous job containing the fire to one unit," Uttaro said.