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Friday, April 27, 2012

Monsey, NY - Jewish Neighbor Rescues Boy, 4, Home Alone as House Burns

MONSEY — A 4-year-old boy left home alone was pulled from a burning house by a neighbor on West Central Avenue this afternoon.

Former Chief Andrew Schlissel called 911 when he saw the fire. He then pulled the boy, who was not injured, off the lawn to safety, Monsey Fire Chief Adam Gordon said. Dozens are firefighters are at the scene fighting the blaze.

“We are are so lucky that that child was alive,” Gordon said, praising Schlissel.

Schlissel said the boy didn’t speak but had a “stone-face look” when he found him. The boy’s parents had apparently left him alone.

Ramapo Sgt. Rob Bassett said no one was injured.

The fire destroyed the house, but the cause remains under investigation. The initial report indicated the boy might have started the fire while playing with matches, Ramapo Detective Sgt. John Lynch said.

Red Cross spokesman Michael Devulpilliers said a team is on the way to the scene shortly after 4 p.m. to provide emergency assistance to six adults and four children who are affected by the fire.

That includes providing emergency housing and funds for food and clothing.

“We are definitely on our way there, and will provide the family whatever support they need,” Devulpilliers said.

More than an hour after the fire was reported, firefighters were sawing open the roof of a two-story West Central Avenue house in an effort to released the smoke and heat after flames destroyed the lower floor.

The fast-moving fire reported just before 2 p.m. has heavily damaged the house in the residential neighborhood. The first floor was charred, and little of the pink color on the house remained on the second level.

As dozens of firefighters manned hoses and doused hot spots, the windy conditions made their jobs more difficult. As they battled the blaze, an estimated 100 people watched from neighbors lawns and cement streets behind yellow police caution tape.

The Monsey Fire Department and other volunteers from Tallman, Suffern, Nanuet, and South Spring Valley responded to the blaze at 485 W. Central Ave. Sloatsburg firefighters were on standby.

Reports were that two tower ladder trucks responded and multiple water lines were being used to fight the blaze.

West Central Avenue was blocked off.

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