A Wantagh letter carrier reported a house fire he discovered while delivering the residents’ mail Tuesday morning.
Anthony Massaro, 25, said he was delivering mail to a home on Tuscala Street in Seaford when he smelled something burning and saw smoke billowing from an air conditioner on the side of the house.
He peered through a window and saw black smoke quickly filling the home and flames coming from a small table. After calling 911, Massaro began banging on the door, hoping that no one was inside the home.
“I was just hoping that there wasn’t anyone in there, and if there was I was just thinking I needed to get their attention and make sure that they got out safely,” said Massaro, who has worked for the postal service since 2013.
The Wantagh Fire Department arrived shortly afterward and quickly put out the fire, which was started by an “electrical appliance on the table,” a spokesman for the department said.
The house was “minimally damaged,” the spokesman said.
The owner of the home could not be reached for comment.
“Our letter carriers are the eyes and ears of our community and are all very adept at notifying the authorities when they spot danger or suspicious behavior. And in Anthony’s case, fire,” said Christine Dugas, a United States Postal Service spokeswoman. “Anthony is a great employee and we’re very proud to have him on our team.”
After the firefighters arrived and the flames were put out, Massaro said he left the mail in the mailbox and got back to work.
“I stayed until I knew there was no one in the home, and the fire was put out,” he said. “Then I left the mail in the mailbox and continued on my route.”