97-year-old woman rescued from Mineola fire, fire and police officials say

97-year-old woman rescued from Mineola fire, fire and police officials say
A 97-year-old woman was rescued by Andrew Martone, a Nassau County police officer and Mineola Fire Department assistant chief, from an apartment fire on Saturday. (Photo by Lou Minutoli)

A 97-year-old woman was rescued from a Mineola apartment fire on Saturday through the combined efforts of the Mineola Fire Department, the Nassau County Police Department – and one volunteer Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department firefighter, Connor Pupelis, who said he was in the right place at the right time.

Pupelis, a neighbor of the woman, said he noticed smoke in the hallway of his apartment when he got home and knocked on the woman’s door to see if she needed help.

Pupelis said he went into the apartment filled with thick smoke and, along with another neighbor, Guy Litoff, escorted her downstairs.

As Pupelis was walking the woman out, police officers were coming up, according to Brian Santosus, chief of the Mineola Fire Department.

Officers were met with “thick black smoke” upon responding to the third-floor fire in the Lincoln Avenue building at 6:05 p.m., police said.

Among the officers was Andrew Martone, who is also the second assistant fire chief with the Mineola Fire Department.

Martone “gained entry” and brought the woman out safely, police said.

Seventy-five members of the Mineola Fire Department responded to the fire, which was under control in 20 minutes, Santosus said.

Three residents and Martone suffered smoke inhalation, police said. Two residents were treated at the scene, and a third was transported by the Mineola Fire Department to an area hospital, police said.

Martone was transported to an area hospital where he was treated and released, police said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, a police spokesman said.

Santosus said the rescue was, as always, a combined effort.

He said that Pupelis, and his neighbor who also assisted, recognized that they were the “young kids on the floor” in an area with many elderly people.

Pupelis said he has grandparents and knows they can be “set in their ways,” but said his focus was to get his neighbor out and make sure all was well.


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