While sitting in his car, a deliveryman noticed flames coming from a home in Syosset. Kevin Rivera, 22, jumped into action and ran to the house to help rescue members of the family. On Sunday, he was commended for his act of bravery at a fire prevention event.  Credit: Newsday/James Carbone

A deliveryman who evacuated a family out of a burning house three weeks ago was commended for his act of bravery at a fire prevention event in Syosset Sunday.

“I’m speechless,” said Kevin Rivera, 22, who received a "life saving award" from the Syosset Fire Department for alerting a family of six on Sept. 10 to a spreading fire that engulfed the front of their home in minutes.

A fire typically doubles in size every minute, firefighters said, noting how crucial a role Rivera played in getting the family, plus two dogs, out before the situation grew more dangerous. Firefighters arrived on scene four minutes after the call came in.

One firefighter was injured but the family was unharmed, fire officials said.

It remains unclear what caused the fire, and an investigation is ongoing, Nassau County Chief Fire Marshal Mike Uttaro wrote in a text Sunday. The fire appeared to have started in the dining room, he said.

“Just stop to think what would have happened if Kevin wasn't there?” said Pete Silver, Syosset Fire Department chief who was at the scene of the blaze and at the ceremony. “We would have had potentially a real bad situation, a real rescue situation. … So Kevin, you did our work for us.”

Shortly before 4:30 p.m. that Saturday, Rivera was sitting in his Amazon delivery van when he noticed flames at the porch of a house on Bluebird Drive in Syosset, where he had two more deliveries to make. He ran to the door and screamed "Fire!" When a man opened the front door, he saw a woman with an infant in her arms in the back.

“I just rushed in,” said Rivera, of Uniondale, after going in through the front door.

By the time he was in the house, the fire had already spread to the front door, so he directed the family, including the woman with the baby, two children and two adults out through the back door.

Amanda Johnson, of Syosset, whose husband Ken Johnson is a former fire chief and also was at the scene of the fire that day, attended the ceremony and said: “I get goose bumps just thinking about it because I know how dangerous it is. My husband has all of that protection, and he goes in. Kevin didn’t. He just ran in and then had the presence of mind to get people out the correct way. … I think what he did is amazing.”

The day of the fire was Rivera’s last day working for Amazon. The following Monday, he began training for FedEx and now makes deliveries in Port Washington.

Rivera brought his 8-year-old nephew, Angel Hernandez, to the fire prevention open house also held Sunday. They took a ride in a fire truck and watched firefighters train at putting out blazes along with other families at the fire house on Cold Spring Road.

He said he hopes his story will ncourage others to join the fire department, including young boys like his nephew and his 4-month-old son, Kayden, who wasn’t at the event Sunday.

“When they grow up, they are going to see all of this and hopefully one day become a firefighter if they want to,” he said.

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