Village of Great Neck village hall hit by lighting, catches fire

Village of Great Neck village hall hit by lighting, catches fire
The Village of Great Neck village hall caught on fire from a lightning strike on Aug. 9, officials announced. (Photo courtesy of Fred Bassali)

The Village of Great Neck’s village hall caught fire on Tuesday night after being hit by lightning, according to officials.

John Purcell, chief of the Great Neck Alert Fire Company, said officials were notified of flames from the second floor of the village hall last night at 7:25 p.m.

Within five minutes, he said, firefighters were on the scene and were able to contain the blaze within 30 minutes. 

A video taken by Mayor Pedram Bral shows a room with charred ceilings, loose wires and significant water damage.

The mayor lauded the responding fire departments for their work to save “a significant portion” of the building and expressed relief that no one was reported injured.

“All we know so far is that it was a lightning strike that started the fire and resulted in significant damage to the building,” Bral said.

Purcell said more than 100 volunteer firefighters from Alert, the Great Neck Vigilant Fire Department, the Manhasset-Lakeville Fire department, the Port Washington Fire Department, the Plandome Fire Department, the Williston Fire Department, the Albertson Fire Department and the Nassau County Fire Marshal.

Based on the initial assessment, Bral said, most of the village files were stored in a different location from where the fire occurred and believes they can be salvaged. The hardware, he said, experienced the most significant damage.

The mayor said that the building will be restored but did not commit on the extent of construction that would be done on the structure, which was built in 1833 and had previously experienced an internal fire.

Bral said the village will explore options on how to conduct business until repairs are made to the building, and did not comment on what plans for future meetings would entail.

“We’re seeing if we have to go to an office building or trailers… those are things we need to study this week,” Bral said.

The village has also been working towards a new village hall, which will be located at 756 Middle Neck Road.

The proposed three-story building is 35 to 40 feet high and features a larger lobby, Building Department office, a second-floor courtroom, a variety of conference rooms, and a third-floor reception hall.

Also featured in the proposal are benches, trees, a pedestrian courtyard, and an outdoor terrace on the third floor. Public parking will be available in the rear of the building, with two handicap parking spaces directly next to the back of the building.

Bral did not comment on how, if at all, the damages to the current village hall would impact the plans for a new village hall. The village is scheduled to have a board of trustees meeting on Tuesday, which may have to take place on a different location, the mayor said.


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  1. Looks like they now can collect insurance money for the new proposed Village Hall.
    Homeowners there surely pay a premium for living in an overcrowded no codes followed part of town. A mess for sure. Lawless.

    • It would be delusional to think that restoration money paid by insurance would pay for a new village hall. Also, what’s so premium about village? Steady stagnant levy for the past 5 years?


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