A New Jersey father and his four children were saved from an early morning blaze after their elderly neighbor and a jogger saw smoke rising from the home and sprang into action.
Santo Livio, 85, looked out the window of his South Brunswick Township home about 5:30 a.m. Wednesday and “noticed puffs of smoke that looked like fog” over his neighbor’s garage, police said in a statement.
Livio stepped outside to get a better glimpse, running into a woman on a jog who also spotted the smoke.
“I yell to her, I said, ‘Is that a fire, you think, that smoke is?’” And she says yes,” Livio told ABC News.
Livio and the woman, who hasn’t been identified, ran up to the home.
The woman began banging on the home’s front door while Livio started knocking on the windows.
Livio said he knocked on the windows for a minute or two before running back home to call 911.
“When I got back to my door, I saw the people that lived in the house come out and (the jogger) told them their house was on fire. And the man said, ‘What fire?’ And she says, ‘Look,’” Livio recalled. “He looked up and he said, ‘Oh my God.’”
The dad and four kids had been fast asleep but were awakened by Livio and the woman alerting them to the fire, and got out of the house uninjured.
The children’s mom works as an overnight nurse and wasn’t home at the time of the fire, Livio said.
Three different fire departments responded and were able to extinguish the fire in about 20 minutes, police said.
While the fire appears to have started in the garage, the source and point of origin haven’t yet been determined.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, police said.
South Brunswick Fire Chief Chris Perez told WABC there were smoke detectors inside the home, but they were not operational.
The father, who did not want to be identified, told the outlet his family is safe and thankful for the first responders, Livio and the woman jogger.
According to police, the woman who stopped to help left the scene as firefighters arrived.
Officials are working to identify her so they can give her recognition for her help.
Livio said he did what any good neighbor would do in that situation.
“I hope that what I did for somebody, they would do the same for me,” he said.
The post 85-year-old neighbor, passerby help save sleeping NJ family from house fire appeared first on New York Post.