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Cops and neighbor rescue woman in Centereach fire, police say

Two Suffolk County officers and a neighbor help

Two Suffolk County officers and a neighbor help Rosemarie Donnelly escape a Centereach house fire before dawn Sunday, May 3, 2015. Credit: Stringer News Service

Suffolk County police officers and a neighbor rescued a 66-year-old woman from a house fire in Centereach early Sunday morning.

According to a police report, two Sixth Precinct officers responded to a 911 call reporting a fire that started about 3:15 a.m. at a home on Forest Road. When they arrived the building was engulfed in flames and a woman appeared to be trapped on the second floor.

Police officers Frank Saracino and Keith Murphy, along with Thomas Earl, 43, a neighbor who lives across the street, found three ladders and climbed to a second-floor window, carrying the woman down to safety.

The woman, identified as Rosemarie Donnelly, 66, and Earl were taken to Stony Brook University Hospital with back injuries. Four other residents of the house escaped on their own but also suffered injuries. Donnelly's husband, James, 72, had cuts on his hand and leg and the couple's grandson, Justin Donnelly, 26, suffered smoke inhalation. They were taken to the same hospital.

Two other unidentified occupants of the house reported difficulty breathing but refused treatment.

Two family pets, a dog and a cat, were also rescued from the blaze by Centereach Fire Department personnel. But another pet, a dog, died in the fire.

Suffolk County police arson section detectives and the Brookhaven Town fire marshal are investigating the cause of the blaze.

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