PELHAM, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A suburban firefighter lost most of his belongings in a fire at his home, but he’s still counting his blessings.
His wife and children are safe.
And now his fellow firefighters and the community are coming to their aid, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported Tuesday.
At the locker of Pelham firefighter Mike Senerchia, there’s some gear that’s definitely not standard issue, including a crib and stuffed toys donated by a concerned citizen.
“God definitely helped us out here, amazing, all the support we’re getting,” Senerchia said.
Senerchia said it has been the silver lining in the dark cloud that struck his family on Monday when a damaging fire ripped through the apartment above his family’s in Mount Vernon. Their unit was flooded by water and blackened by smoke and the majority of their belongings were damaged or destroyed, including Christmas gifts for 3-year-old Isabella and 3-week-old Delilah.
Senerchia got his family out safely and then told his wife he was going in to check on their neighbor.
“I just remember her yelling, ‘Don’t go in! Don’t go in!’ But it’s that instinct that kicks in to try to help. That’s what we do,” Senerchia said. “The apartment was fully involved. I did as much as I could to locate her. I found a little dog, got him out.”
All the tenants survived, but the material losses are heavy.
“A lot of us had just given him baby gifts that the baby hasn’t even worn yet,” Lt. Vincent D’Onofrio said.
Senerchia’s fellow firefighters have stepped up with a GoFundMe drive that’s taking in $1,000 an hour.
“It says in times of need that the brotherhood is really there and everybody’s willing to help,” D’Onofrio said.
Senerchia said he and his family are grateful and he knows he’ll be a different firefighter after this experience.
“What everybody did for me, all the firefighters did for me, I’m gonna bring that out the rest of my career,” he said.
If you would like to donate to the family’s cause, please click here.