Newlyweds Robert and Veronica Hodak watched in semi-shock as fire trucks screeched up to their house about 1:10 p.m. Tuesday after the couple opened a door to the basement and were met with a dense wall of smoke.
"We were watching the football game and smelled smoke so I went outside and didn't see anyting," Veronica related while watching firemen enter the house through doors and ran a hose toward her home, which had been her home with her parents for 12 years.
"Then I opened the basement door and all this smoke poured out. We called 911 and went outside," related Robert, who didn't take time to put on a shirt given the emergency circumstances.
A Suffolk County Water company worker a few houses down ran over to see if he could help the couple. He thought about entering the basement to shut down the electric system but realized it might not be the best approach.
"Everyone was safely out of the house and so I just told them to stay and wait for the firemen," said the water authority worker who is also a Smithtown Fire Department member and asked for anonymity.
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Within 15 minutes, more than a half dozen emergency vehicles, including fire trucks, the Community Ambulance and several police officers were on the scene. The ambulance company set up an emergency response tent to provide overheated firemen with water and necessities.
The Hodaks, who graduated from in 2005, were amazed at the quick response.
"They were here in like four minutes," Robert said. "Amazing."