On Thursday, we presented ex-chief Steve Beal, ex-captains J.R. Renten and Kevin Burgess and firefighter Anthony Chiaramonte of the Riverhead Fire Department with our People of the Year award at a ceremony at Martha Clara Vineyards. This is the video we screened during the ceremony and the original announcement from January. READ
For hours upon hours every year, local volunteer firefighters train for worst-case scenarios. They prepare for smoke-filled houses and out of control fires. They drill again and again how to handle each type of emergency call — hoping they won’t have to answer one anytime soon.
Nearly a year ago, on Jan. 29, 2015, that kind of worst-case scenario training was put to use.READ
(L-R) Ex-Chief Steve Beal, firefighter Anthony Chiaramonte, Ex-Captain J.R. Renten and Ex-Captain Kevin Burgess, who rescued an unconscious man from a burning home Thursday night. (Credit: Paul Squire)
Riverhead firefighter Ex-Captain J.R. Renten crawled on his hands and knees under a cloud of waist-high, obscuring smoke inside the burning house on Middle Road, circling around to the couch as his fellow firefighters sprayed down the kitchen.
The only lights inside were firefighters’ flashlights and the glow of a circular florescent lamp hanging on the wall by the bar.