By Jano Tantongco
A two-floor house fire tore through a home Sunday afternoon, displacing a Halesite family, fire officials said.
The Centerport, Halesite and Huntington fire department responded around 3 p.m. to a Cove Road home, Halesite Fire Chief Greg Colonna said.
When emergency responders arrived, they found the blaze extended to the front and back of the house and the second floor, he said.
Colonna recounted the strength of the inferno, calling it “advanced.” He said his primary objective was “to get our first lines to the house and start fire suppression immediately.
“And also to make sure the people are out of the house.”
Colonna said five people were evacuated from the home, a mother, father, their child and grandparents, who were determined to be the Soule family. The grandparents were transported to Huntington Hospital for smoke inhalation, but no one was injured, Colonna said.
A team of around 50 firefighters had the primary blaze under control in about 20 minutes, he said. The chief estimated that 50 percent of the home was completely destroyed, primarily on the first floor. He said around 90 percent of the home was damaged by heat and smoke.
Colonna said the family was “obviously shaken up… they suffered a pretty big loss.”
Following the fire, a GoFundMe page in support of the Soule family was created by Daniel Nevins, who identifies himself as the brother of Lauren Nevins-Soule, the mother who was evacuated from the home on Sunday.
“My oldest sister, her husband, and their only child my adorable nephew Nicholas have been left homeless by this devastating event,” Nevins stated.
As of press time, $10,825 has been raised, piercing the $10,000 goal in just two days.
The support efforts don’t end there. Chief Colonna has coordinated with Huntington Station’s Gloria Dei Lutheran Church to form a donation drive in hopes of getting the the family back onto its feet. Colonna said there is a collection box at the Halesite Fire Department headquarters, as well as at the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church.
“We have jumped on the bandwagon,” said Karen DeMotta, parish administrator for the church.
DeMotta said they’re hoping to receive men and women’s clothing, toddler clothing, toys, general kitchen items, bakeware and clocks to pass along to the family before the drive ends on Friday.
As of deadline Wednesday, the Soule family could not be reached for comment.