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Quick-Thinking Yorktown Neighbors Rescue Woman From Fire

The remains of the house in Yorktown destroyed by a  fire om Sunday, Nov. 24.
The remains of the house in Yorktown destroyed by a fire om Sunday, Nov. 24. Photo Credit: Sam Barron

YORKTOWN, N.Y. -- If it wasn't for some quick thinking neighbors, a fire in Yorktown could have turned deadly.

A fire destroyed the home of Gulio and Maria Eliseo at 3784 Wildwood Street on Sunday, Nov. 24 , killing three dogs. Marisa Eliseo, who had recently had hip surgery, was rescued from her bathroom window, thanks to neighbors Brian Avery and Joshua Reed, along with other Good Samaritans, including Robert Cole, who was treated and released from Hudson Valley Hospital.

Avery said his daughter screamed that the Eliseo house was on fire and he ran outside and saw flames. After speaking with their daughter, Marie, he discovered Marisa was inside.

Avery first tried to open the front door and then climb onto the roof, but the fire was too much. He ran back into his home and got a 20 foot ladder, putting the ladder up against the side of the front porch roof.

Avery and Cole climbed the ladder and helped bring Marisa and another daughter to safety. Avery said about in five minutes, the place was engulfed in flames.

"The only thing going on in my mind was getting my neighbor, my friend, out of the house," Avery said. "I really wasn't aware of my surroundings. Me and Robert worked together and got Marisa down safely."

Avery said the Eliseo's are all about family.

"They are wonderful," Avery said. "They would give you the shirt off their back even if they hardly knew you."

Avery said the families often have dinner together.

Lisa Reed said her husband was fixing Christmas lights at 11:30 a.m. when he saw the flames and told her to call 911. Reed's husband Joshua was one of the people who assisted in the rescue of the Elisios.

Eliseo was treated for smoke inhalation at Hudson Valley Hospital Center in Cortlandt, said Adam Cerrato, chief of Lake Mohegan Fire Department, according to Cerrato said three firefighters and two people suffered minor injuries, according to

David Helfand, who lives next door, said firefighters initially thought his house was on fire because of where his mailbox was. He said firefighters also hosed down his house.

Reed said the Eliseos are wonderful people.

"They are great to everyone," Reed said. "You can see how many people want to help them."

Reed said the four dogs were Bandit, a Huskie mix; Buddy, a chiweenie; and Roxie, an English bulldog.

Fabric Mart, on Crompond Road in Yorktown is soliciting donations in the form of gift certificates to help the family, whose possessions were destroyed.

Gift certificates in any denomination from stores such as WalMart, Kohl's, K-Mart, Bed, Bath & Beyond, A & P, ShopRite, Stop 'n' Shop would be a great help since this family needs everything from the inside to the outside, Fabric Mart said in a statement.

Fabric Mart is asking people to bring gift certificate donations to Fabric Mart at 2019 Crompond Road in the shopping center at the corner of routes 35 and 202.

Fabric Mart is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

For more information  contact: Erin at (914) 962-3328 or Gift certificates will be collected from now through the month of December.

Carolyn Sherwin of the Red Cross said they were called by Hudson Valley Hospital to offer support.

Sherwin said volunteers were offering emotional support and a mental health volunteer was helping them cope with the loss of their pets.

Sherwin said the family did have insurance and the Red Cross would be helping them deal with insurance. "They are in excellent hands," Sherwin said.

The cause of the blaze has yet to be determined.

Giulio Eliseo, 52, is a butcher. The children attend Westchester Community College and work at the A&P at the Cortlandt Town Center, according to

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