Neighbor Kelly Lotz said, “Pete Vadola saved our lives. He was a hero who saved over 200 people.”
But last week, after returning from an annual family vacation, Vadola and his family became homeless themselves when their house was consumed by a fire. “Thank God no one was hurt, but now I know how all my displaced neighbors felt after Sandy,” he told the Daily News. “Fate was laying for me, man. I dodged the storm but the fire got me.”
Vadola, his wife and their two young son’s are staying with his parent for now, but they plan to rebuild. “I have insurance,” says Vadola. “I have a job. I’m okay. I’m not looking for help. But I am deeply touched by my neighbors who care so much about us. That’s why, like everybody else around here, I will rebuild, bigger and stronger. Screw fate. I’m from Midland Beach, baby, this is my home. I’m not going anywhere.”
Another neighbor, Betty Volsario sent a letter to the Daily News about the fire that destroyed the Vadola family’s home. She said, “Pete saved over 200 people after Sandy. Unfortunately, Pete and his family need some rescuing now. Roots go deep here in Midland Beach. After Sandy, everyone helped each other. Neighbors have already taken up a collection for Pete’s family.”
This is the beautiful and unbreakable spirit of the Sandy survivors in a neighborhood with heart and grit called Midland Beach.
Photo: Screenshot/CBS New York