A fire overnight destroyed the Farmingville home of Sachem East head football coach Mark Wojciechowski.
The five people who live at the home on South Howell Avenue--Wojciechowski, his wife, two daughters and a nephew--all escaped unharmed. The Wojciechowskis' dog was also saved.
The fire began shortly before 2:30 a.m. and it elicited a response from five fire departments--Farmingville, Selden, Holtsville, Ronkonkoma and Medford--officials said.
Wojciechowski's 7-year-old daughter Mia alerted her family to the fire, according to Jay Mauro, an assistant coach for the East football team, who also serves as a dean with Wojciechowski at Sachem North.
"She came running into Mark's room and was like, 'Daddy, daddy, daddy, the house, the house, the house," Mauro said of Mia. "She is the one that saved them."
Mauro was among several members of the Sachem community Tuesday morning gathered outside the home, which Wojciechowski has lived in his entire life, to lend support.
"Whenever you hear about something like this, you always feel bad and when it's someone close to you, you are taken aback by it," said Mauro, adding that Wojciechowski was like a father to him growing up. "It knocks your socks off because they lost everything. Everything is gone."
Only a few pictures and Wojciechowski's Hansen Award, which he received in 1985 as a member of the Sachem football team for being Suffolk County's top player, were recovered from inside the home, Mauro said.
Mauro said the community is already rallying together for man affectionately known as "Woj."
"We have a great community," said Mauro, as donation drives are already popping up for the Wojciechowski family. "It's about giving back and helping each other."
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
From our Faceboook page:
Kelly Corcoran Campbell Hi Everyone... The Girl Scouts are doing a collection for the family at Chippewa Monday from 6-7:30... Please pass it on to anyone in the community that would like to come by... We are taking clothes but are also asking that people bring other things, books,toys, gift cards etc... If anyone would like to write a check they can write it out to Troop 511 and we will make sure the family gets it! Any questions please inbox me!
Nichol Mancaruso The wojos are personal friends of ours.... the girl scouts are collecting donations at this time. Everything and anything is needed including your basics. Email me for further info regarding sizes and drop off firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Giulintano-gardetz Donations can be dropped off at the Filthy Frogzz on Hawkins Ave in Ronkonkoma
We will update this story with more info as it becomes available, including any details on ways to help the family.