CLARK, NJ – Sebastian Iakouvitch woke up to the smell of smoke Sunday morning, felt intense heat through his bedroom wall, and reacted quickly.  The 16-year-old Arthur L. Johnson High School sophomore roused his mother and escorted her and the family’s elderly, blind dog out of their apartment before it was engulfed in flames.

The single mother and winning young wrestler lost everything but the clothes on their backs, said family friend Angela DeMarzo Santangelo. Already struggling to make ends meet, the family is now faced with starting over. That’s why DeMarzo Santangelo has started a gofundme campaign to benefit the family.

“Michelle and Sebastian need to find somewhere to live but that will require a security deposit and the first month’s rent along with everything they will need to help them start over,” DeMarzo Santangelo wrote. “I am starting this page to hopefully get them what they need to get into an apartment and back on their feet.”

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In just under 24 hours, the fund had reached slightly more than 25 percent of its goal.

To contribute to the family, visit the Sebastian and Mom Iakouchevitch gofundme campaign.

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