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Families Escape Ronkonkoma Blaze

Smithtown man alerts residents of the fire in their home.

Two apartments were destroyed in a Sunday fire in Ronkonkoma. Photo courtesy Buff N Stuff.
Two apartments were destroyed in a Sunday fire in Ronkonkoma. Photo courtesy Buff N Stuff.

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.

Click here for the original report in Newsday (Subscription).

BOB LACORTE January 06, 2014 at 01:29 PM
Isn't that the old bakery building?
SHAWN ROBBINS January 07, 2014 at 08:59 PM
yes H &H Bakery..... The stores under are very water damaged! Get your story right!

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