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Bayport residents ‘saved’ from fire by passers-by, chief says

It took dozens of firefighters about two hours

It took dozens of firefighters about two hours to extinguish the flames that had engulfed this home early Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, on Middle Road in Bayport, according to the Bayport fire chief. Passers-by who saw the home on fire alerted residents to the fire, Suffolk County police said. Photo Credit: Ed Betz

A group of passers-by saved three people from a voracious fire early Saturday morning, breaking down the door of a Bayport home and waking the residents in time for them to escape unhurt, authorities said.

“They were sound asleep. They had no idea what was going on,” Bayport Fire Chief Bob Fleming said of the residents. “The people kicked in the door and woke them up out of a sound sleep. They definitely saved their lives, all three of them.”

Two people in the home, as well as a tenant in another part of the house, were all able to get out safely, Suffolk police and Fleming said.

The passers-by, five adults, were in a car about 2:10 a.m. on Middle Road when they noticed the house on fire, a police spokeswoman said.

They got out of the vehicle, knocked on the door and eventually forced their way in to reach the unsuspecting dwellers, police said.

Fleming said the fire department received the call for the fire at 2:12 a.m., and he and his first assistant chief were at the house four minutes later.

“The police were already on scene and the people were out of the house,” Fleming said. “It was definitely crazy what they did.”

“They definitely, definitely saved those people,” he said, adding that he hoped to find the Good Samaritans to honor them.

Homeowner Ronald Provenzano said Saturday afternoon that he and another resident were preparing to head to a hotel to rest for the first time since the fire engulfed their home 12 hours before.

“We lost the house . . . the material things,” Provenzano said. “It worked out for us. We got out.”

A resident of the home, who would only identify herself by her first name, Nazly, said she had been sleeping upstairs when she was awoken by the sound of one of the passers-by — a woman — banging on the door.

She “broke the glass door, and she was screaming, ‘Get out of the house! Your house is on fire!’ ” Nazly said. “Ron heard her first and then tells me, ‘Nazly, get out of the house!’ . . . I look to see the French doors and I see the fire, and then I scanned really quickly for the cat. Then I was running beside Ron and I went downstairs.”

Nazly said the cat emerged unharmed. She attributed everyone’s safety to the Good Samaritans .

She said she wanted to tell them: “Thank you. And I love them.”

It took about 70 firefighters from several departments — including Bayport, Blue Point, Sayville, West Sayville, Bohemia, Patchogue and North Patchogue — about two hours to extinguish the flames that had engulfed the home, Fleming said. Nine engines, one ladder truck, one rescue truck and 10 fire chiefs helped battle the fire.

Most of the house on Saturday afternoon was charred black, and what appeared to be a sunroom on the east side of the structure was gutted and the roof was gone.

Trees on the eastern side of the house were scarred and blackened at least 15 feet high.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, but it is believed to be accidental, police and Fleming said.

The materials used and the manner of construction in the 2 1/2-story home — believed to have been built more than 100 years ago — allowed fire to get trapped inside the walls, making it difficult for the firefighters to quickly get the blaze under control.

“The house is a total loss,” Fleming said. The Red Cross was called in to aid the residents who were displaced, he said.

The Community Ambulance Company of Sayville also responded with two ambulances.

The three residents were examined by emergency medical service members but did not need treatment, Fleming said. No injuries were reported.

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