Port Jefferson High School seniors spring into action for garage fire call during graduation
Graduation day is now especially memorable for six Port Jefferson High School seniors who helped put out a garage fire on Arlington Avenue Friday night.
Soon after the students received their diplomas and the ceremony ended, many were taking photos at Port Jefferson High School when a siren from the fire department sounded around 7:30 p.m.
The six seniors who answered the call, Shane Hartig, Ryan Parmegiani, Andrew Patterson, Hunter Volpi, Peter Rizzo and Kasumi Layne-Stasik, are all volunteer firefighters with the Port Jefferson Fire Department.
At first Layne-Stasik thought the siren was to honor them.
“Apparently, it went off twice. The first one was congratulatory, I didn’t hear that because I was too caught up in the moment and everyone’s throwing their caps up,” Layne-Stasik recalled.
But Rizzo said then their instincts quickly set in.
“I look at my friends and I said, 'It’s time to go,' and we’re in an all-out sprint in my gown and diploma in hand,” Rizzo said.
The six graduates stripped off their graduation gowns and rushed over to the home on Arlington Avenue. The garage in back of the home was on fire.
Deidre Filippi was at the graduation as a parent and teacher in the school district. She says she taught the six seniors who responded to the fire she said was next to her house.
She said she’s very proud of the seniors and she's not surprised that the six seniors responded to the call.
“I found it to be completely and utterly just a sign of their dedication and commitment of what they signed up for volunteerism and you know put others before themselves,” Filippi said.
There were no casualties except damage to the garage.
The six graduates also assured that their diplomas did not get burned during the fire.