By Patricia Adams
and Michael V. Cusenza
The siren call of smoke alarms likely saved the LoFaso family Monday night as a formidable fire tore through their Howard Beach home, according to the eyewitnesses and City Fire officials.
Roughly two-dozen firefighters brought the blaze under control in less than an hour. No injuries were reported.
According to a source close to the family, earlier that evening Antonella LoFaso took her three sons—Alessandro, 9; Antonio, 5; and Francesco, 2—to Fr. Dooley Hall at St. Helen Catholic Academy for a free screening of the Oscar-winning animated film “Zootopia” at Easter Movie Night, sponsored by the Howard Beach-Lindenwood Civic and the Howard Beach Kiwanis Club. Upon returning home, the boys quickly got ready for bed.
Later that night, Antonella and her husband, Vittorio, were rousted from their bed by the “Fire! Fire!” squawking from the alarms. They searched their 87th Street abode for the source of the alarm. When they opened the door to their second-floor laundry room, they unleashed hell: Flames quickly leaped out, seeming to take swipes at the couple.
They darted down to gather their children and exited the house safely.
The blaze began in the dryer in the family’s laundry room.
Upon learning of the incident, friends and family took to Facebook and Twitter for information, to offer a shoulder to cry on, or to raise money. The Forum has learned that while the LoFasos greatly appreciate the social-media outreach, and the planned fundraising crusade, they have requested that all social media postings regarding the fire be halted, and that they be afforded some privacy at this time to grieve and regroup.
The LoFasos are currently living with relatives in the area.
By Patricia Adams