Fire claims their home, possessions

A basement fire Saturday night has left a Flanders family without a home and most of its possessions.

“The house is not livable,” said Elena Vasilikos, whose Moon Avenue home caught fire about 6:30 p.m. “The whole house has to be gutted.”

Ms. Vasilikos said she was at work when the fire occurred, but that her two daughters, ages 11 and 13, first noticed smoke as they returned from the beach. They told their father, Paris, who was in a shed working on a weedwacker at the time, though they didn’t immediately realize the smoke was coming from their house. Mr. Vasilikos then saw the smoke coming from a basement door.

The Flanders Fire Department responded to the scene with help from the Riverhead Fire Department.

“The fire department did a great job,” said Paul Fizzuoglio, Ms. Vasilikos’ father. There were no reported injuries.

Ms. Vasilikos said she’s been staying with her parents, who live nearby, as the home, which sustained smoke and water damages, is rebuilt.

She said neighbors have offered her family help.

“All my neighbors stepped up,” she said. “Everybody’s been a great help.”

Among the neighbors who helped were Chuck and Meigan Rocco, whose Royal Avenue home, just a short distance away, was destroyed by fire in February 2009.

“They cooked us lasagna last night,” Ms. Vasilikos said. “They came and brought us dinner.”

The Roccos have since rebuilt their home.

Ms. Vasilikos said some clothes appear to be useable, but that most of their possessions were destroyed, even as her daughters are set to start school this week.

“The girls took it hard,” Ms. Fizzuoglio said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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