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Passerby credited with alerting 12-year-old boy to fire in his Coram home, cops say

Firefighters at the scene of a house fire

Firefighters at the scene of a house fire in Coram on Wednesday, May 6, 2015. A 12-year-old boy escaped danger after a passerby driving past the house at about 4 p.m. noticed smoke and stopped to tell the child to leave the home, Suffolk County police said. Credit: Stringer News Service

A passerby has been credited with helping rescue a 12-year-old boy, stopping to alert the child his house was on fire Wednesday, Suffolk County police said.

A fire official said firefighters from eight departments responded and that the home had extensive damage, although a dog, a cat and several other pets were saved.

Police said the fire at the house on American Avenue in Coram was reported in a 911 call at 4:01 p.m. The caller said that a driver who was passing the home noticed "smoke coming from the house" -- then stopped, talked to an occupant, and told him to leave.

Police identified the occupant as a 12-year-old boy.

Coram First Assistant Chief Rich Gandolfo said firefighters were alerted in a call at 4:02 p.m. and that volunteers from eight departments responded -- Coram, Middle Island, Selden, Mount Sinai, Miller Place, Gordon Heights, Centereach and Medford. In addition to the dog and cat, firefighters removed several 10-gallon tanks filled with reptiles, Gandolfo said.

Gandolfo said one Coram firefighter suffered a minor shoulder injury at the scene.

Police and fire officials said it was not immediately clear if the boy was home alone or if adults also were present.

Police said arson investigators determined the cause was electrical -- and accidental in nature. The identity of the passerby was not known.

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