Nassau County police officers and Hicksville firefighters earned recognition from Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano after saving three dogs from a house fire in Hicksville on Jan. 26. The ceremony was held Feb. 2 at the Nassau County Emergency Center and also featured Acting Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter, as well as homeowner Jita Klat and two of her dogs.
Emergency personnel responded to a fire at the Georgia Street house owned by Klat and husband Noah at about 9 a.m. Police officers Andrew Massa, Michael Rothwell and Steven Tornetta, and Police Medic Benjamin Butt, could hear a dog barking inside. According to Mangano, Massa kicked in the front door and the officers, after crawling on the floor to avoid the thick smoke, found Inca, a 2½-year-old husky mix, unconscious in the living room. Massa and Tornetta carried her out and Butt administered oxygen. Tornetta then drove her to a Westbury veterinarian for a check-up.
Meanwhile the Hicksville Fire Department had also responded. Learning that there were two more dogs in the house, firefighters and ex-captains Gary Lewis and Joseph DiFronzo forced open the back door and, after a search, found Sasha, a 2-year-old Greek pekingese, and Chloe, a 10-year-old border collie. The two were hiding under the kitchen table. They were led out of the house and firefighter and EMT Jennifer Sheehan aided Butt in treating the dogs, who were not injured.
All of these named responders, along with Hicksville Fire Department 3rd Assistant Chief William Efinger, who directed operations to quickly douse the flames, earned certificates at the ceremony.