A veteran Town of Oyster Bay employee who ran into a burning home and helped save a family was honored for his bravery by the Town Board.
Frank Archipolo, a maintenance supervisor for the town, who's been on the job for 41 years came upon the scene of the fire on Karen Avenue in Plainview March 10. He was on his way to visit his daughter with his wife.
"I saw smoke, and I said, 'Oh my God the house must be on fire,'" he told Patch.
Archipolo saw a man and a woman who lived inside the house on the porch and began to assist the woman.
"She collapsed on the sidewalk," he said. "I said, 'I'll carry you if I have to. You've got to get up.'" Archipolo then ran to alert people in the neighborhood, but when he returned he asked the couple if anyone was still inside.
"The woman said, 'My daughter, my daughter," Archipolo said. He pulled his sweatshirt over his head and went inside to search for the daughter.
"I heard my wife was shouting, 'Frankie! Don't go in there,' but I saw the daughter running towards me."
The two got out of the two-story home safely. It took five fire companies several hours to put out the blaze, according to Town Supervisor John Venditto.
The town presented Archipolo with a certificate Tuesday and Venditto expressed his personal thanks to the hero worker.
"I've known Frank for many, many years, "he said. "He comes from a long line of Archipolo who have made their mark on the Town of Oyster Bay. But this is the icing on the cake."
Archipolo said, "I just thank God I happened to be there," he said, before joking, "And of course my wife is yelling at me."
After receiving the citation from Councilwoman Rebecca Alesia, Archipolo put the honor in perspective.
"I never got a certificate before," he said. "This means a lot, but it also means a lot that the people got out safe and that means more than the honor."