Daughter alerts family to allow for safe evacuation
Fast response stops fire in its tracks
Smithtown, NY June 28, 2020 – In the early morning hours of June 26, 2020 fifteen-year-old Hailee Hurtado smelled smoke in her 16 Stuyvesant Lane home and alerted her sleeping father, Jonathan, who discovered a fire in the garage of their high ranch home. Jonathan quickly began evacuating his wife and other daughter, while Hailee went to the lower level of the residence, where the fire originated, to evacuate her elderly grandmother. Hailee awoke her grandmother, who utilizes a cane for mobility, assisted her out of bed and began guiding her towards the front door where she was met by her father. The two assisted the grandmother up the flight of stairs and outside. By the time the family completely exited the building the entire garage was engulfed and was extending up the exterior to the upper level.
While the Hurtado family were evacuating their home, Smithtown Firefighters were alerted of a reported house fire at the above location at 0230 hours, and First Assistant Chief Patrick Diecidue and Second Assistant Chief Timothy Duckham quickly responded. First on scene was Ex-Chief John Hansen, who lives nearby, and radioed to the responding chiefs to upgrade to a working fire and confirmed all occupants were accounted for. Engine 4-2-5, led by Captain Andrew Kelly, was the first due engine arriving within 7 minutes of activation. The crew rapidly stretched two 1-3/4” handlines and began attacking the fire, having water on the fire within 9 minutes of activation. Engines 2, 3, 4 & 15 also responded along with Ladder 7 and Rescue 9 and went to work stretching a third line, searching the residence, and exposing any hidden pockets of fire. Ambulance 4-2-61 responded and set up rehab for operating firefighters. The fire was brought under control by 0321 hours. Mutual aid was provided by the Kings Park, Commack, Hauppauge & St James Fire Departments along with Commack Ambulance. CI-Hauppauge Ambulance and Nesconset Fire Department stood by at the Smithtown’s Main House in case of any additional alarms. All units operated under the command of Assistant Chief Patrick Diecidue until 0553 hours and no injuries to civilians or firefighters were reported.
The Chiefs Office and all Smithtown firefighters, knowing precious seconds count, commend Hailee for her heroic actions in alerting her family allowing for their safe evacuation. If she had delayed in warning her family members, those extra seconds could have spelled a very different outcome. The Chiefs intend to present Hailee with an award for her actions at a later date.
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