Firefighters quelled a heavy fire in the basement of a home on View Road in Setauket Wednesday night in approximately an hour and a half.
The owners of the home and their dog evacuated the house safely before emergency crews arrived. No serious injuries were reported.
Public information officer Larry Hall said the fire started in the far corner of the basement underneath the garage, but said the cause is under investigation.
"Basement fires are notoriously difficult to fight," he said, calling the smoke condition "a very dark, choking black smoke."
The homeowner, who did not give his name, said he and his wife knew something was wrong when the lights went out in the kitchen and she smelled smoke. He said he grabbed a flashlight and tried to locate the problem, and when he saw smoke he went to retrieve a fire extinguisher.
"I saw a wall of black smoke and fire curling across the ceiling and said, 'It's time to get out.' My wife grabbed the dog and we left," he said.
The fire was reported at 10:37 p.m. at 43 View Road and was placed under control just after midnight.
Approximately 75 firefighters and other emergency personnel responded from multiple agencies, including the Setauket Fire Department, Setauket EMS, Stony Brook Fire Department, Centereach Fire Department, Port Jefferson Fire Department, and Port Jefferson Ambulance, while the Terryville Fire Department and Stony Brook Volunteer Ambulance were on standby.