On Wednesday, May 31, at 5:35 a.m, South Brunswick police received a 9-1-1 call about a house on fire at 73 Kingsley Road in Kendall Park.
Police found a working structure fire in the area of the garage, they said. Police confirmed that the house had been evacuated and that there were no pets inside.
Kendall Park Fire Department began attacking the fire while police officers spoke with the homeowners.
The family said that they were sleeping and had no idea that the house was on fire, when they heard banging on their front door and bedroom windows, police said.
They encountered their neighbor, Santo Livio, along with another woman who has not yet been identified, warning them of the fire, police said. They quickly evacuated the house uninjured.
Livio, 85, of Kingsley Road, said that after a lifetime of being an early riser for work, he continued to wake up early in retirement, police said.
Livio said that at about 5:30 a.m., he looked out his front door to see if there were any animals in his yard, when he noticed puffs of smoke that looked like fog, police said.
Unsure if he was seeing smoke or fog, he stepped outside, at which point he saw a woman walking down the street.
Livio reportedly asked her if it appeared to be smoke, and she said yes, at which point they both ran to the house and began trying to alert the residents, banging on the door and windows, police said.
Livio then called 9-1-1 as the residents left the house, and the unknown woman left the scene in the commotion of the fire response, police said.
Livio said that the residents later came to his home to thank him.
It took 50 firefighters from all three township fire departments, Kendall Park Fire Department, Monmouth Junction Fire Department, and Kingston Fire Department, 20 minutes to extinguish the blaze, police said.
South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond J. Hayducka said, “I credit Mr. Livio, along with the unidentified woman, and their quick thinking and heroic actions, with saving the family.”
The fire appears to have begun in the garage, but a source and confirmation of point of origin are pending further investigation by the Fire Safety Bureau, police said.
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