Neighbor: Garvey Road Home 'Torn Apart' By Fire
Neighbors say family of four is safe after escaping burning house.
Garvey Road resident David Murphy smelled smoke when he arrived home at midnight Friday, but did not think much of it.
"I thought maybe I dropped a cigarette in my car," he said.
But a couple hours later, around 2:30 a.m., when Murphy, 61, saw dozens of emergency response officials crowd his street, he realized something was wrong. His next-door neighbor's home at 19 Garvey Road was on fire.
"I went downstairs and I saw out the window the deck was in flames," neighbor Cindy Collins, 47, said.
Collins said she also smelled smoke around 8 p.m. Thursday but went to bed. When she saw the flames at about 2:30 a.m., she woke her husband, who immediately ran outside, grabbed his hose and began fighting the fire along with the owner of 19 Garvey Road.
"It was scary to see," Collins said.
Collins said a family of four, including two toddlers, occupied the house and that while the whole family was home at the time of the fire, they were all safely outside by the time Collins saw the fire and called police. The family has one dog, which Collins said was also safe.
Several neighbors called the police, who neighbor Patty Spiliotopoulos, 35, said responded rather quickly to the scene. Spiliotopallos said she also woke up around 2:30 a.m. after her dog began to bark because of the fire vehicles on her road.
"The amount of people who were here to help was really, really astonishing," she said, noting that she was especially impressed that the firefighters volunteered their time. "For people who don't have to come out in the middle of the night, it was amazing."
Murphy was also surprised by the number of emergency vehicles on the road.
"You would have thought a plane crashed," he said.
Spiliotopoulos tried to help the family as well.
"I just ran out there to do whatever I could," she said. "I was concerned about the babies and the people who live there more than anything, to make sure they had a place to go."
Spiliotopoulos said the family is now staying with relatives while insurance agents assess the damage of the home. She walked through the house with one of the owners after the fire was put out.
"The central floor is torn apart," she said.
Murphy said he never saw flames but that smoke was coming from the attic while the firefighters were on the scene. Spiliotopoulos also said she could see smoke in the windows of the home from her house accross the street.
On Friday, a bright orange sign labeling the home an "unsafe structure" was posted on the doorway. A smoky smell lingered over the home and a melted roof could be seen on the side of the house. The street was quiet Friday morning, but Murphy said that is typical of the neighborhood and was the case even while the fire was likely growing inside the home for at least a couple of hours before the flames.
"The neighborhood smelled like smoke, but you couldn't see it," he said.