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News Nearby: Port Jefferson House Fire Under Investigation

The top headlines from nearby towns.

Port Jefferson

House Fire Under Investigation After Explosion Heard at Home

Several fire units responded and knocked down a house fire on Red Barn Lane that engulfed the home in smoke around 3:30 p.m. Port Jefferson Fire First Assistant Chief Dave Williams noted that two people and a dog made it out safely.

Williams also said that upon coming to the scene of the fire, firefighters heard an explosion at the site, believed to be oxygen tanks. According to Suffolk County Police, a call reporting a "house full of smoke" came in at 3:33 p.m. at 4 Red Barn Ln. A police spokesman said the house was evacuated safely, and Suffolk County Arson Squad was called to the scene.

Three Village

Chabad ‘Friendship Circle’ Seeks Teen Volunteers

In a Detroit suburb a decade ago, a teacher wanted to encourage a teenager to get involved in the community. The Friendship Circle – an organization which pairs teen volunteers and youth with special needs to facilitate fun and friendship – was born.

Since then, the Friendship Circle has inspired 100 other branches of the program around the country, including a program at Chabad at Stony Brook established seven years ago. "This is about friendship, social life," said Rabbi Shalom Ber Cohen of Chabad at Stony Brook, who runs The Friendship Circle with his wife, Chanie. "The program thrives because the teenagers feel very good about themselves and the parents are happy and the kids are happy. It feeds its own success. It really is brilliant." But Chabad SB's Friendship Circle is in need of volunteers to continue "curing loneliness with love." According to Rabbi Cohen, for every two volunteers the organization gets, 10 families with special needs children want to participate.

Smithtown

Smithtown School's Reveal More Budget Cuts; Talk Future Bankruptcy Possibilities

During Tuesday night's budget hearing, the Smithtown Central School District released tier's two and three of possible cuts to eliminate the more than $4 million deficit it's facing in the 2013-14 school year.

The proposed Tier 2 reductions would result in eliminating $1.765 million of the remaining deficit if all of these and the Tier 1 cuts were implemented. If all Tier 1 and Tier 2 cuts were implimented, the district would have $17,224 remining of the deficit.

Commack

High School 'Safe and Secure' Following Lockdown Rumors

Rumors quickly spread Monday morning through Facebook and Twitter that Commack High School was on lockdown, but school personnel say those reports were false.

More then 100 tweets, mainly from high school students, went out just before 10 a.m. stating that the building was under severe security. However, those speculations were unfounded, district officials said. A number of those comments were regarding rumors about a gun being in the building.

A student was later arrested for having an airsoft pellet gun in his locker.

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