Editor's Note: This story has been updated with comments from a family member.
SHRUB OAK, N.Y. – An online fundraiser has been organized for a Shrub Oak family whose home was destroyed in a Sunday afternoon fire.
Firefighters from several departments battled the blaze in the area of Buckhorn Street and Union Road around 1:40 p.m.
The house’s residents, Maria Prin, her boyfriend, Felix Lopez, and Prin’s adult son, Alec Levine, lost their home and all of their possessions in the devastating fire.
“I was asleep when it started,” Levine told Yorktown News. “I woke up and my room was smoky and I assumed a fire had started in my room. I opened the door to shout and there was smoke everywhere.”
Levine then rushed to the window to call for help.
“A man driving down the road saw me and helped me out,” he said. “I didn't realize the extent of the fire until after I was outside.”
The family’s dog, Mister, a 14-month-old Australian Shepherd/black Lab mix, also died, Levine said. Their cats were rescued but injured.
“My dog, Mister, was the best dog I've ever had,” Levin said. “I got him as a five-week-old puppy when his mom abandoned him and I've raised him ever since.”
Funds raised are to be used to help the family get back on their feet and help cover the veterinarian bills for the cats’ injuries. More than $5,000 has already been donated.
“I'm ecstatic that so many people are helping us out,” he said. “I can't believe it, honestly.”
Levine said his family does not have a plan for the future and is taking it day by day.
First responders on the scene included Mohegan Lake Volunteer Fire Department and Ambulance Corps, Yorktown Heights Volunteer Fire Department, Mahopac Falls Volunteer Fire Department, Yorktown Police Department and the Peekskill Volunteer Ambulance Corps. The Peekskill and Mahopac volunteer fire departments were on standby.
Additionally, a “Dine to Donate” is being held at Frankie & Augie'Z in Jefferson Valley on Monday,Feb. 6. Twenty percent of all the restaurant proceeds (dine in, take out and delivery) that day will be donated to the family. Mention it to the server or bring the flyer.