Man picking up the pieces after family's beloved home goes up in flames

Sixty-five years ago, Armond and Anna Monaco left Brooklyn behind and bought a brand new home in Huntington Station. In their new house in the

On Friday, flames broke out at the home that had been the backdrop to so many family memories, including an aunt's wedding.

On Friday, flames broke out at the home that had been the backdrop to so many family memories, including an aunt's wedding. (2/19/17)

HUNTINGTON STATION - Sixty-five years ago, Armond and Anna Monaco left Brooklyn behind and bought a brand new home in Huntington Station. In their new house in the hills, they were living the American dream.

Armond and Anna have since passed away, but their grandson, Daniel Monaco, remained at the home and looked after the property. He had cared for the couple in their last days.

"This is where my family was raised, my aunts and my father,"  Daniel Monaco said of their home. "I was born in Huntington Hospital, and this is the first place I went after I was born."

On Friday, flames broke out at the home that had been the backdrop to so many family memories, including an aunt's wedding. The house was completely destroyed. Daniel Monaco says he almost lost his life in the fire.

"There was a point when I was trapped in the kitchen, when I didn't think I was going to get out," he says.

Monaco was able to escape. He was treated for smoke inhalation and burns to his face and hand. But he didn't stay in the hospital for long -- his beloved cat Opie was still at home.

He returned to the scene of the fire and found Opie underneath an extension. The cat suffered burns as well, and has been running a fever as she is treated at the hospital, but she is expected to be OK.

Daniel Monaco is staying at a hotel for the time being thanks to the help of the American Red Cross. He's lost so much, but he still has photographs of grandparents and their family home, and he says the memories won't ever fade.

"They were very proud of this house," he says.

Donations for Monaco and Opie are being collected on the fundraising website GoFundMe.

More on this topic

Huntington Fire GoFundMe

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