STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A fire destroyed a Staten Island home early Friday morning.
A family inside managed to escape the flames that started overnight.
Chopper 2 flew over the shell of the charred home, viewing the devastating aftermath of the fire. In front of the house Friday morning, a young man could be seen sifting through what’s left. The family was standing by in disbelief, understandably, not ready to speak.
CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis talked to their next door neighbor of 30 years.
“They’re lovely people, I feel bad,” said Maryann Chiarulli. She woke up in the middle of the night to loud noises and the unforgettable sight on Holly Avenue: Flames taking over the home beside hers.
“Terrible. Very frightening. All crackling, all just flames and crackling,” she said.
“Out of a horror movie. Flames coming out the roof, flames coming out the chimney, whole downstairs burnt, back demolished. It was just terrible,” said neighbor Jared Campbell.
The FDNY got the call around 3 a.m., arriving to a heavy fire from the basement through the roof of the two story home.
“There were four occupants in the building at the time. They were able to self evacuate uninjured,” said FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Michael Gala.
“I don’t even know where they came from and how they did it because this thing went up so fast,” Chiarulli said.
The heat melted the side of her home, but she, along with others, are grateful the 150 first responders who rushed to the scene isolated the fire, and worked about two hours to get it under control.
“My hat’s off to the firemen. They were in that fire and it was burning. The whole was in flames and they were walking around inside of it. I’ve never seen anything like it,” said neighbor Bob Snyder.
The FDNY spent most of the day on scene, rummaging through the rubble, investigating what started the fire. Neighbors offered support.
“It’s terrible times were living in. They gotta go through a pandemic and now thy have to go through this, they lost everything,” Campbell said. “I’d help them however I can.”
All thankful they made it out safe, and hopeful they’ll be able to pick up the pieces soon.
Nine firefighters have minor injuries. The Fire Marshal is working to determine where and how the fire started.
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