Courtesy of Newsday: Original article here
A group of passers-by forced their way into a Bayport home and alerted three residents that the house was on fire early Saturday, Suffolk County police said.
Five adults were riding in a car about 2:10 a.m. when they passed a home on Middle Road and noticed it was on fire, a police spokeswoman said.
They got out of the vehicle, knocked on the door and eventually forced their way in to reach the unsuspecting dwellers, police said. “They were sound asleep. They had no idea what was going on,” Bayport Fire Chief Bob Fleming said of the residents. “The people kicked in the door and woke them up out of a sound sleep. They definitely saved their lives, all three of them.” Two people in the home, as well as a tenant in another part of the house, were all able to get out safely, police and Fleming said.
Fleming said the fire department received the call for the fire at 2:12 a.m. and he and his first assistant chief were on the scene four minutes later.
“The police were already on scene and the people were out of the house,” Fleming said. “It was definitely crazy what they did.”“They definitely, definitely saved those people,” Fleming said It took about 70 firefighters from several departments — including Bayport, Blue Point, Sayville, West Sayville, Bohemia, Patchogue and North Patchogue — about two hours to extinguish the flames that had engulfed the home completely, Fleming said. Nine engines, one ladder truck, one rescue truck and 10 fire chiefs helped battle the fire.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined but is believed to be accidental, police and Fleming said. The materials used and the manner of construction in the 2 1/2-story home — believed to have been built more than 100 years ago — allowed fire to get trapped inside the walls, making made it difficult for the firefighters to quickly get the blaze under control.
“The house is a total loss,” Fleming said. Red Cross was called in to aid the residents who were displaced, he said. The Community Ambulance Co. of Sayville also responded with two ambulances. The three residents were examined by emergency medical service members but no treatment was needed, Fleming said. No injuries were reported.