Police officer Avital Donnenfeld saved a family of four during the early morning of New Year’s Eve when he noticed smoke coming from a West Babylon street.
On Tuesday, Dec. 31 at approximately 3:55 a.m., Officer Donnenfeld was on his routine patrol near Ecker Avenue and Route 109. He determined that the smoke was coming from 197 Ecker Ave and quickly took action.
“After observing smoke, Officer Donnenfeld located a burning home, banged on the door, alerting the family of four inside, who thankfully escaped without injury,” said Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart. “I am extremely proud of Officer Donnenfeld and commend him for his efforts.”
The Suffolk County Police First Precinct officer was able to wake Theresa Hoffman and alerted her husband, Jason, who was getting ready for work. With the assistance of Officer Donnefeld, they evacuated their two young children, ages 6 and 12, from the burning home without any harm.
“Officer Donnenfeld exemplified the extraordinary courage and commitment of our officers when he took action which undoubtedly prevented a tragedy,” said Commissioner Geraldine Hart. “Every day our officers go above and beyond to keep our communities and our residents safe.”
Just a day later, the community came together to create a GoFundMe page to help raise money for the family, who sadly lost their beloved dog in the fire, a two-year-old Jack Russell Terrier, named Riley.
As of right now, the page has raised over $18,000 out of its $25,000 goal.
Arson Section detectives are investigating the cause of the fire, which is believed to be non-criminal.
Above photo of the Hoffman family courtesy of GoFundMe.