MARCY, NY - While a Marcy couple and a visiting friend slept beneath a raging fire that had not yet revealed itself inside the home, four young volunteer firefighters out for a midnight snack were in the neighborhood and smelled smoke. Instinct and training brought them toward, not away from, the fire.
"Came up, saw the house on fire, jumped out, went knocked on the door. Woke 'em up, got 'em out," said Whitesboro Volunteer Firefighter Jacob Ryan.
"We came up the road and you could just see the glow from the top of the garage. There was a lot of smoke," said Yorkville Volunteer Firefighter Domenick Camerota.
The homeowner, awakened by banging on the door and the screamed warnings of his houseguest, made his way through the house in disbelief.
"Saw absolutely no smoke in the house at all. No smoke in the house," said Christopher Johnson. "And I saw these tall guys standing in my hall," said his wife, Jackie Johnson.
"If it was any later, I think the whole house would have been on fire. The wind and everything," said Whitesboro Volunteer Firefighter Jordan Ryan.
One of the volunteer firefighters grabbed the family's dog, and they left the home once they were sure everyone was out safely.
Standing near the burnt remains of their home on Tuesday afternoon, the Johnsons hugged the four teens, repeatedly saying, "thank you," and marveling at their bravery, selflessnes and youth; the Camerotas are 17, and the Ryans are 19. The four are two sets of twins.
"We love 'em right now," said Christopher Johnson. "They're fine young men. We're very proud of them. Parents are sitting over there. I went over and thanked them for raising some fine kids."
"Absolutely there's good kids in this area," said Jackie Johnson.
Running toward a burning home to save the sleeping people inside came naturally to the four trained volunteers. Something they're slightly less comfortable with- being called heroes.
"I wouldn't call myself a hero. I mean, just, people helping people. Any good person would do it," said Angelo Camerota of the Yorkville Fire Department.
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