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Man saved from burning wreckage in Smithtown

A driver is recovering in the hospital after two heroes helped save him from a fiery crash in Smithtown Tuesday. James Gilleo, of Smithtown, lost control of his van on Route 25A Tuesday morning. After

News 12 Staff

Jan 14, 2009, 4:57 AM

Updated 5,667 days ago

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A driver is recovering in the hospital after two heroes helped save him from a fiery crash in Smithtown Tuesday.
James Gilleo, of Smithtown, lost control of his van on Route 25A Tuesday morning. After the crash, the van burst into flames. Luckily for Gilleo, retired FDNY firefighters Tony Monteroso and Mike Baker were nearby.
Monteroso and Baker attempted to pry open the van's door to rescue the trapped driver. Once police arrived, Baker and Monteroso tried using fire extinguishers to calm the flames. The two retired firefighters say fellow bystanders also tried to pitch in and some even began throwing snow on the burning car.
Eventually the jaws of life were used to rescue Gilleo from the burning wreckage.
Gilleo was taken to Stony Brook University Medical Center with burns on his legs and face, as well as some broken bones. Five police officers responding to the scene also needed care and were treated for smoke inhalation at St. Catherine of Siena.
The five officers have all been released.


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