CENTEREACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — An off-duty Suffolk County police officer helped rescue a family, including 7 and 5-year-old boys, from a burning home in Centereach on Friday night, according to authorities.
Police said the officer’s 12-year-old daughter, Caleigh Anson, alerted her father around 10:50 p.m. that the house across the street from theirs was on fire.
Caleigh called 911 and officer James Anson rushed to his garage to get a ladder, police said. The officer placed the ladder beneath the second-story window of 2 Minto Court, where Jason and April Noon were screaming for help.
“I could see them waving and screaming from here, so I knew it’s where I had to get the ladder to,” he said.
The couple passed their 7 and 5-year-old sons to Anson, who handed them off to two other responding officers. Anson then helped the parents escape safely, police said.
“We had two other officers who responded from the Sixth precinct right around the corner, and they responded just great. So the three of us were able to get everyone out,” he said. “So it worked out well so it really sped everything up so we were able to pass the kids off.”
A firefighter rescued the family’s dog from the flames. It was taken to Selden Animal Hospital where it is believed to be in good condition. A second dog was killed in the fire.
The family and one firefighter who suffered an ankle injury were taken to Stony Brook University Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The family members suffered smoke inhalation, and the father also suffered minor burns, but they have all been released from the hospital and are expected to be OK, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported.
Two neighboring houses were damaged as well.
“It’s looking out for a neighbor and just being a dad. There are kids in there, you got to do everything you can to make sure your neighbors are safe,” Anson said.
Police said the cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Friends set up a GoFundMe page to help the family, saying they may have to tear down the home and rebuild.
According to the page, April Noon also ran a childcare center on the property.