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Massive Blaze Rips Through Staten Island Homes

By DNAinfo Staff on April 9, 2012 7:48am  | Updated on April 9, 2012 12:08pm

By Nicholas Rizzi and Wil Cruz

DNAinfo Staff

STATEN ISLAND — A raging fire ripped through two homes in West New Brighton early Monday, injuring eight firefighters, FDNY officials said.

The four-alarm blaze started at 27 N. Mada Ave., near Dekay Street, just before 3 a.m., an FDNY spokesman said.

Nearly 170 firefighters from 39 units raced to the two-story house to battle the blaze, which later spread to two adjoining houses, the spokesman said.

It took firefighters nearly three hours to get the four-alarm fire under control, the FDNY said.

But the house was left in ruins. Kyle Griswold, 28, arrived to the remains of his home, where he lived with his family and pets.

"Pretty much everything was gone," he said. "There's nothing left."

The residents in each house managed to get out safely, fire officials said. Three firefighters suffered minor injuries but no one else was hurt, the spokesman said.

Griswold's brother, David, said three of the family pets — two dogs and a cat — managed to escape the burning house and survived. But one of the dogs, a 7-year-old chihuahua named Gizmo, became trapped in his parents' bedroom.

"He couldn't go down the stairs," David Griswold, 21, said. "We were looking for him."

Gizmo died at the scene, David Griswold and fire officials said.

The eight injured firefighters were taken to Richmond University Medical Center. Their injuries were not serious, FDNY officials said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.