Sayville family loses home and dog in fire, community rushes in to help


A Sayville family with two boys are safe but they lost their home and pet dog earlier today, April 3, in a house fire.

Lifelong Sayville residents Andrew and Heather Spitzfaden and their sons are now getting a wave of support from the community, who in less than seven hours have donated nearly $40,000 to assist the family in their time of need.

Suffolk County Police said a neighbor, Richard Mosback, responded to the blaze at 376 Astor Drive and used a ladder to rescue a teenager, who was trapped in an upstairs room. The family dog was later found deceased, authorities said.

The Spitzfadens’ home was engulfed in flames, destroying the structure and all of the family’s belongings. Andrew and Heather Spitzfaden are both major contributors in the community, with Andrew serving as a volunteer firefighter and Heather employed as a server at Off the Block Kitchen & Meats in Sayville.

“This is completely overwhelming for the family, emotionally and financially,” wrote Off the Block owner Stephen Rizzo, on a GoFundMe fundraising page he established for the family. “Thank you for any support you can offer this family, during this utterly [devastating] time.”

The Bohemia Fire Department was one of several fire departments that worked to put out the blaze. In a Facebook post later in the day, the department urged the community to assist the Spitzfadens.

“The home belonged to a fellow brother of the fire service. He is a younger member who would drop everything he had to help others in his community,” the department said in its post. “Now him and his family need the help of our amazing community.”

Top photo: GoFundMe

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