Village of Pelham Firefighter Mike Senerchia and his family, whose apartment was destroyed in a fire in Mt. Vernon on Dec. 17, will be celebrating Christmas with presents for their two small children and are looking for a new apartment thanks to donations from friends, family and a gofundme page.
They have also received many donations of toys, new baby and toddler clothes, diapers and child accessories as well as several gift cards and other donations.
"They are beyond grateful and are already planning ways that they can help others who may be left homeless from fires in the future," said Pelham Village Fire Lt. Vincent D’Onofrio.
Mike Senerchia and his wife (Zoraya) and his two children Bella (3 years old) and Delilah (3 weeks old) were in the apartment at the time of the fire in the building but escaped uninjured.
A Gofundme page at https://www.gofundme.com/3rjm3s-help-a-brother-out?member=1328978 has raised more than $40,000.
Last week, Pelham Village Fire Lt. D’Onofrio, Union President of Pelham Professional Firefighters Local 2213, said in a letter to the community and fellow firefighters in the county:
"On Monday morning December 17 a fire affected one on our own. Pelham Firefighter Michael Senerchia, a former member of the Mount Vernon fire Department was left homeless when fire destroyed his apartment in Mount Vernon. Mike was home with his wife (Zoraya) and his two children Bella (3 years old) and Delilah (3 weeks old) when he went outside and smelled smoke and then noticed the house was on fire. Mike quickly ran in and got his wife and two children out, then ran back in to see if his neighbor was home. He heard noise in her apartment, so he pounded on the door although she didn’t answer, so he broke the door open and crawled into the apartment looking for the bedroom. He checked the bedroom and she wasn’t there, but he found her dog and brought it safely out of the apartment. Mike then helped the Mount Vernon Fire Department to get a hose line into the house. His wife and daughters stood by watching their home go up in flames. Their oldest daughter Bella was crying asking her mom why her house was on fire.
"Mike, a firefighter with the Pelham Fire Department, is in his third year and his wife Zoraya, a school teacher, had recently moved into their apartment a few months ago, as a temporary stop while they were hunting to find a house. They have no renter’s insurance. Almost everything they own was destroyed, some by fire and some things by smoke and water damage. Furniture, home goods, clothing and all their children’s Christmas gifts were destroyed. The Red Cross has given them some emergency funds to help with hotel expenses, where they are currently residing until they can find a rental apartment."