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The original item was published from 7/2/2020 9:43:01 AM to 10/30/2020 9:05:01 PM.

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Posted on: July 2, 2020

[ARCHIVED] 15 Year Old Hero to Be Honored for Saving Family


Town of Smithtown, Smithtown Fire Department & Smithtown Children’s Foundation to Honor 15 Year Old Hero, Who Saved Her Family from a House Fire.

On Monday July 6th at 5 PM, The Town of Smithtown, the Smithtown Fire Department and the Smithtown Children’s Foundation will present Hailee Hurtado with awards for her heroic actions which saved the entire family from a devastating house fire. The award ceremony will take place at the Smithtown Fire Department’s Main house located at 100 Elm Avenue in Smithtown, NY. 

The Smithtown Fire Department and Chief’s Office was moved by the bravery and fast actions of 15 year old Hailee Hurtado, auguring a very different outcome, had she delayed her rescue by seconds. Inspired and motivated to help the Hurtado family, the Smithtown Fire Department Chief’s office reached out to Town Supervisor Wehrheim, who has also enlisted the Smithtown Children’s Foundation to help honor Hailee.  

I have always been in awe of the way our First Responders run into a burning building… But imagine the courage it took for this young lady to spring into action the way she did. The Hurtado family has lost their home, their memories and keepsakes. But they still have each other... thanks to Hailee. It’s a privilege to be able to honor her in this fashion. - Supervisor Ed Wehrheim

On Friday, June 26th at approximately 2:30AM, fifteen-year-old Hailee Hurtado detected the smell of smoke in the house and immediately woke her father. Jonathan Hurtado confirmed a fire in the garage of the home located on Stuyvesant Lane in Smithtown. He began evacuating his wife, Evelyn and younger daughter, Madison while Hailee ran downstairs for her Grandmother. Jonathan safely removed his wife and younger daughter from the home and went back inside. Hailee had already begun to assist her Grandmother, who requires a cane to walk, from the lower level of the home, (where the fire originated) guiding her to the front entrance. The father and daughter aided the grandmother up a flight of stairs and outdoors to safety. By the time they had made it outside, the garage was engulfed in flames and the fire had spread up the exterior to the upper level. 

The Hurtado Family home was left uninhabitable along with the total destruction of all keepsakes, clothing, electronics etc. The Smithtown Children’s Foundation has extended it’s helping hands to the family for relief, and resources through navigating the stressful process that awaits. Additionally, neighbors have taken to Gofundme to help the family with expenses and temporary housing. Residents wishing to help the Hurtado family can do so via: and Searching “Help the Hurtado Family.” 

These next few months will be extremely overwhelming, both mentally and physically for the family. As such, Mr & Mrs Hurtado have affably asked for privacy while they tend to the needs of their children. 

We are so grateful for the outpouring of love, sympathy and support from our community and are especially blessed for our neighbors and the first responders who have helped us through this devastating time. As you can only imagine, this has been very difficult and often times overwhelming. With this in mind, we’d respectfully ask for privacy, space and time so that we may care for our daughters and begin to put our home back together.- Jonathan & Evelyn Hurtado

Responding to the Fire:

At approximately 2:30AM, Smithtown Firefighters were dispatched to a reported house fire at 16 Stuyvesant Lane. Smithtown Fire Department Ex-Chief and Neighbor, John Hansen was first on scene and radioed to the responding chiefs to upgrade the call to a working fire. First Assistant Chief Patrick Diecidue and Second Assistant Chief Timothy Duckham quickly responded. Engine 4-2-5, (led by Captain Andrew Kelly) was the first due engine, arriving within 7 minutes of activation and began attacking the fire. Engines 2, 3, 4 & 15 also responded along with Ladder 7 and Rescue 9. Ambulance 4-2-61 responded and set up rehab for operating firefighters. Mutual aid was provided by the Kings Park, Commack, Hauppauge & St James Fire Departments along with Commack Ambulance. Central Islip Hauppauge Ambulance and Nesconset Fire Department covered Smithtown Fire Departments Main House in the event of additional alarms. The fire was brought under control by 3:21 AM. All units operated under the command of Assistant Chief Patrick Diecidue until 5:53 AM. No injuries to civilians or firefighters were reported.

For the full report and additional information please visit:

About the Smithtown Children’s Foundation:

The Smithtown Children’s Foundation is a NY State not for profit, 501c3, assisting local families in crisis. Originally formed in 2008 to help a local kindergartner who was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma, the Foundation quickly grew to help hundreds of local families impacted by trauma. The Smithtown Children’s Foundation manages numerous fundraising events, golf outings, races, auctions and college scholarships for graduating seniors, many in memory of loved ones lost. The Foundation has grown into a resource for the community’s most in need, working closely with school district social workers and most recently was instrumental in delivering meals to struggling families amidst the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to the many fundraisers, scholarships and programming orchestrated through the organization, the Smithtown Children’s Foundation often serves as a partner with local community groups to help raise awareness for other worthy missions. 

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