Top Stories 2012: Elmsford Boy A Hero In House Fires

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Mateo Din, left, said he might not have escaped an Elmsford home that went ablaze in June if not for the warnings of his younger brother Sebastian, right.
Mateo Din, left, said he might not have escaped an Elmsford home that went ablaze in June if not for the warnings of his younger brother Sebastian, right. Photo Credit: File/Matt Bultman
Firefighters attempt to extinguish an Elmsford fire that destroyed one home and jumped to the next on Woodside Avenue in June.
Firefighters attempt to extinguish an Elmsford fire that destroyed one home and jumped to the next on Woodside Avenue in June. Photo Credit: File/Matt Bultman

ELMSFORD, N.Y. — As 2012 draws to an end, The Greenburgh Daily Voice is looking back at some of the top stories of the year.

An eight-year-old boy proved heroic in what could have otherwise been a deadly neighborhood fire on Woodside Avenue in Elmsford.

On June 15, a fast-moving fire destroyed one home before jumping to the house next door as more than six fire districts attempted to control the fire. The June heat made battling the blaze even more difficult. Thanks to Sebastian Din, 8, who quickly informed homeowner Pam Stemberg that her house was on fire, no one was hurt.

Stemberg was talking to Sebastian's mother Milena Din when Sebastian smelled smoke and saw flames under the Stemberg's porch. Sebastian, who had been outside riding his scooter, ran up to the two adults and pointed out the fire.

Stemberg ran inside, grabbed her cats and ran back out to safety.

Sebastian then ran to the home of Elmsford Det. Robert Caralyus, whose house sits adjacent to Stemberg's, to alert his older brother Mateo Din and Caralyus's 10-year-old son, Robert, who were inside.

"If it weren't for Sebastian, we might not have gotten out of that house," Mateo Din said following the fire.

The fire completely destroyed Stemberg's house, 22 Woodside Ave., save for one front wall, and singed a hole through the roof of the Caralyus' home at 24 Woodside Ave. It also melted the siding off a house at 20 Woodside Ave. and caused heat damage to a home at 26 Woodside Ave.

Firefighters from Elmsford, Hartsdale, Irvington, Scarsdale, Fairview, Valhalla, Tarrytown and Pleasantville spent more than five hours spraying water on the two homes.

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