No Injuries in Sayville House Fire Tuesday Afternoon

Sayville firemen respond within five minutes to a fire call on Garfield Avenue shortly after 1 p.m.

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."

John Snothmay August 21, 2012 at 10:45 PM
It's called mutual aid. There's not enough people willing to volunteer to do what we do. Fighting a fire is not something that can be done by a small response. Don't be a critic, be grateful this house was saved by people that dropped everything they were doing to help a stranger.
Home Owner August 22, 2012 at 12:25 AM
Well it was my house that caught fire, and THANK GOD the fire department and everyone was there. So everyone can keep their negative opinions to themselves.
Mrs. Lodell August 22, 2012 at 03:36 AM
well for someone who just had a fire-you are reading comments and posting back on here??
Thomas Pantano August 22, 2012 at 01:55 PM
KC- My name is Thomas Pantano, I am the Chief of the Sayville Fire Department. Yesterday's response was accurate. We always request for assistance at fire or large incident. The assistance from our neighboring departments is for back up while operating at the fire, and for the protection of the Sayville firefighters operating inside the building. This crew is called FAST (Firefighter Assist and Search Team). The "FAST" is at the scene and ready to be activated if a firefighter is trapped or injured while operating at the fire. We also request a crew from a neighboring department to Stand By at our Fire House to cover any other calls that come in for the Sayville Fire Department so our residents are always protected. We have a great relationship with our neighboring departments and they are only to respond to Sayville Incidents when requested by the Incident Commander. I can go into more detail, but I hope this information answered your question to the "over exaggerated response" to yesterday's fire. As you are aware we are a volunteer organization. I cannot be prouder of the men and women of the Sayville Fire Department for thier quick response and strong and continued efforts to protect the residents of Sayville. Special Thank you to the West Sayville FD, Bayport FD, Bohemia FD and Community Amublance for thier assistance at yesterday's fire. Thank you, Thomas Pantano, Chief
KC - Sayville August 24, 2012 at 01:59 PM
My comment was not negative - it was an observation. I thank and appreciate the well-communicated response from Thomas Pantano. I myself have had the SFD come to my own home on a call and appreciate all that they do for our community. BTW - Welcome to the neighborhood Robert. I live here too and will come by and introduce myself so that we can better get acquainted.


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