As Sandy approached, the mayor of Breezy Point ordered an evacuation. The subsequent withdrawal of the city's fire and rescue service left a community founded and largely populated by firefighters and cops " which lost more residents per capita on 9/11 than any other " suddenly vulnerable to catastrophe. But during Thanksgiving weekend, Breezy Point still had something for which to be grateful. Although fire incinerated 111 houses and water ruined scores more, and although many otherwise law-abiding residents defied the evacuation order, no one was killed or seriously hurt. The story of how a single house fire turned into one of New York's worst residential blazes in 150 years begins with bad weather and bad timing (full moon, rising tide) and ends with a good idea: use the water that caused the fire to fight it.