BREEZY POINT — A massive blaze ripped through the oceanfront community of Breezy Point Monday night, destroying at least 80 homes, as Hurricane Sandy floodwaters surged through the community, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
Firefighters were forced to use boats to rescue residents of the hamlet at the western end of the Rockaway peninsula, officials said.
The devastating six-alarm fire ravaged homes, leaving only smoldering ashes early Tuesday.
A video shows firefighters raking through what was left of the houses in the evacuated Zone A community and hosing water onto the small fires that still burned amid the debris.
Those who spurned evacuation orders looked on in disbelief at the smoky detritus, which included many winterized beachside bungalows.
According to published reports, the fire began about 11 p.m. Monday and firefighters were able to contain the blaze 12 hours later.
FDNY spokesperson Michael Parrella told NBC News that nearly 200 firefighters battled the huge fire while fighting high winds that rapidly escalated the blaze.
The Associated Press reported the firemen needed to use a boat to make rescues as floodwaters surged.
No serious injuries were reported in the fire.