Bellmore rallies around a family after a fire


When Gail Ziv’s neighbors learned that her Belmill Road home went ablaze the Saturday before Thanksgiving, they worried about the woman and her two children. Through social media, concerned Bellmorites have and will continue to raise money and collect needed items for the fire victims.

Vincent Scaduto, the Bellmore Fire Department’s public information officer, said firefighters responded to the south Bellmore house fire at 105 Belmill Road at 10 a.m. on Nov. 23. Although no injuries were reported, the home sustained extensive damage that Ziv’s neighbors are trying to help her repair.

Ziv was home when the fire ignited, Scaduto said. She told fire officials that she noticed that her house was filling up with smoke, and neighbors saw smoke and called the fire department.

Ziv and her two children –– Mai, 17, and Omri, 9 –– were out of the house before firefighters arrived. Scaduto said that, although the Nassau County Fire Marshal’s Office has yet to officially determine the fire’s cause, it apparently started from the ground and went up to the second floor, which sustained the most damage. The first floor primarily suffered water damage from the firefighters’ effort to extinguish the blaze.

The fire, which Scaduto said was extinguished in about a half-hour, did not spread to neighboring homes. The Merrick and North Bellmore fire departments sent units to the house, and units from Wantagh and North Merrick stood by at Bellmore fire headquarters.

Carmela Ciminera lives two houses down from the Ziv family. When she heard about the extent of the damage to her neighbor’s home, she and other members of the Bellmore Moms Facebook group took action.

The Zivs have been displaced as a result of the fire, Ciminera said, and everything in Omri Ziv’s bedroom on the second floor was lost. So, Ciminera and Bellmore Moms group members are collecting household items and clothing for the family, in addition to raising money for the Zivs to rent an apartment.

Ciminera is taking care of the Ziv family dog at her house, which has been filled with donated items from Bellmorites. She said those who have offered to help have been wonderful.

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