The South Brooklyn community has shown its compassion and appreciation for a local hero in a big way.
FDNY Firefighter Piotr Orlowski, who is assigned to E202 Red Hook Raiders, lost his home in the five-alarm fire that injured 12 firefighters and destroyed two houses in Dyker Heights on Sept. 12.
Orlowski, who was off-duty, was in his home when he smelled smoke. After evacuating his parents and dog, he went inside the other burning building to rescue his neighbor.
“Everybody was outside safe, so I ran back to my own house,” he said. “I got both my parents and my dog outside. I watched the fire spread, and there was nothing we could do. We lost everything. It’s unfortunate but we’ll get through it. I’m just happy that we all got out safe,”
Family friend Patricia Ciurej organized a GoFundMe page for Orlowski with a goal of $60,000. As of Sept. 22, friends, family members and neighbors had donated more than $61,000.
Orlowski wrote on the page to show his gratitude to the 735 donors.
“Thanks to close friends and strangers, we temporarily have shelter, food, clothes,” he said. “We are currently looking for a long-term rental so I can set up both my parents and sister. I would like to thank everyone for their support and generosity during this difficult time.”
“It brings so much joy to see people from all over come together to help at a time like this,” said Ciurej. “These are the big moments in life and I look forward to seeing Piotr and his family get through this tough time.”