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Panoramic view of Breezy Point destruction after Hurricane Sandy fire and flood

In a 240-degree view, more than 100 homes in Breezy Point lie in ruin following a blaze during Hurricane Sandy. (David Friedman / NBC News)

NBC News investigative reporter Bill Dedman reports on the close-knit community's experience of the fire:

In a community where firefighters are demigods, where a memorial at the end of the point honors more than 30 residents who lost their lives at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, three companies of volunteer firefighters were overwhelmed by flooding and an inferno that destroyed more than 100 houses. Yet they fought the elements all night, saving many people and protecting houses on the perimeter of the burn zone, including the home of a 9/11 widow. 

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David Friedman / NBC News

Breezy Point residents return to their devastated homes after Hurricane Sandy and a massive fire during the storm that destroyed over 100 tightly packed homes.

David Friedman / NBC News

Kieran Burke's son's ride-on toy fire truck sits among the ashes of his Breezy Point home.

NBC News reporter Miranda Leitsinger talked to resident Kieran Burke, who was looking through the ashes of his home

“This is heartbreaking,” he said. “Being a fireman, it’s even more heart wrenching because, you know, you’re used to being on the other end of this, you’re used to being on the end where you help people. And even Monday night, my first reaction was to get over here and help somebody. I had no idea my house was in peril.”

A chimney is now all that remains of Burke’s home. He sifted through the charred remains, finding a few things to salvage: A memento from a trip to the Bahamas with his wife, some favorite beer from Hawaii and his son’s metal fire truck. Gone were his fireman gear and his old fire department magazines, though firefighters found a steel beam he had saved from his time at Ground Zero.

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David Friedman / NBC News

A collection of movies and music lies on the ground in Breezy Point.

See more images from Hurricane Sandy in PhotoBlog and in this slideshow

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