Islip Terrace family beyond grateful for first responders who saved daughter, 3 dogs from fire

An Islip Terrace family had an emotional reunion Monday with the firefighters that saved their daughter and three dogs from a house fire.

News 12 Staff

Jul 18, 2022, 9:32 AM

Updated 640 days ago

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An Islip Terrace family had an emotional reunion Monday with the firefighters that saved their daughter and three dogs from a house fire.
The homeowners - Tara Piniella and her husband Frank - say they had run out to the store and within 10 minutes they received a call from their security company that their house was on fire.
Tara Piniella frantically called her daughter, who was sleeping in the basement, warning her to get out.
The daughter opened the door and only saw smoke and flames. She could hear the family's three huskies crying and realized she was trapped.
"My house can be replaced - my daughter can't - my dogs can't," Piniella says.
The Islip Terrace Fire Department heard her screaming from the basement and broke the window to get her out to safety. Tara Piniella says without the firefighters, her daughter could have died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
When she was safely outside, the volunteer firefighters continued to go into the engulfed home to locate the three dogs inside. They were found in different parts of the house and carried out.
Video from the helmet of a firefighter shows that one of the dogs was found passed out on the kitchen floor.
Jared Gunst, with the Islip Fire Department, says the dogs were in areas where there were heavy fire conditions and smoke. He says they all became overcome and passed out.
Gunst has special training through the Suffolk Police Medical Crisis team and was able to revive all of the dogs.
"It is actually a training that most EMS providers have never been through and it's pretty unheard of to learn medical treatment of these animals," Gunst says.
Piniella says she watched the firefighter do CPR on the dogs on her front lawn.
"Of all the responders - he needed to be there for me and my family," Tara Piniella says.
The 19-year-old daughter has been released from the hospital. All three dogs are getting treatment and are expected to be OK.
The house has been destroyed and the fire is believed to be accidental.
A GoFundMe has been created for the family.


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