Thanks to being warned by a Uniondale volunteer firefighter from Smithtown, families escaped from a Sunday blaze that lit up the apartments above 343 Hawkins Avenue in Ronkonkoma.
According to residents speaking to Newsday the firefighter, Ed Hope, 49, alerted occupants before helping save a young child.
Melinda Cordero, 32, said Hope helped save her two-year-old son’s life by alerting her boyfriend, James Lucas, who then ran into the building to save the child. Cordero said in a video on the report that seven people were living in the apartments that caught on fire.
A total of two adults and three children were inside the building at the time of the fire, according to Ronkonkoma fire chief Tim Blewett in the report. This included Shanier Russell, 33, and her sons Reshawn and Lavondre Stackhouse, ages 6 and 4 respectively. All of them were evacuated.
Hope said in the report that afterward he drove to the Smithtown Fire Department, and was later released from St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center after treatment for smoke inhalation.
The building’s two apartments on the upper floor were destroyed by the blaze, but the two businesses on the ground floor were undamaged.