On March 7, Brookhaven Town Clerk Kevin LaValle visited with Arthur Giove, Jr. and Camille Giove at the newly reopened Giove Funeral Home located at 1000 Middle Country Road in Selden.
The business was temporarily closed as a result of extensive fire damage on the night of May 25, 2021. After being closed for nearly two years, the Giove Funeral Home will hold a dedication ceremony on April 29 at 3 p.m. in honor of Arthur Giove, Sr., who passed away in 2022. Giove Funeral Home first opened in 1965.
Prior to being elected to his current position in January 2023, Town Clerk LaValle served as the Councilman in District 3 which included the Giove Funeral Home. He and his office staff assisted the Giove family to get though the process of demolition, rebuilding and reopening.
“The Giove family has been a staple in the community for nearly 60 years and they needed assistance to get through the process of reopening. Arthur and Camille are always ready to help when asked and they always come through. It was my turn to reciprocate for all they have done to make the Selden community the best it can be,” said Town Clerk LaValle.
“It is a privilege to be back in the community that my family has served in for the last few decades. Thank you to the Town of Brookhaven for helping me through the entire building process and getting us back up and running so we can once again help families during some of the most difficult times and thank you to the Selden Fire Department for all you did to save our building 21 months ago,” said Arthur Giove, Jr.
The Selden Fire Department was activated for an Automatic Alarm just before 11 p.m. on May 25 at 1000 Middle Country Road in Selden.
A Selden Fire Department ambulance enroute to the hospital reported flames coming from the roof of Giove’s Funeral Home.
The initial fire was in the second-floor residence, and in the ceiling above the residence. The residents were alerted and woken by their two dogs barking and were able to escape without injury.
Employees, who had just left the funeral home, came back, and removed the one funeral casket to a safe location.
Under the Command of Chief of the Department William Cotty, an initial interior attack was hampered and aborted as the ceiling of the apartment began to collapse on the firefighters. At this time all manpower was removed from the building just two minutes before the roof collapsed into the apartment.
The Selden Fire Department quickly moved to an exterior attack with ladders from Selden FD, Coram FD and Centereach Fire Department.
In all about 100 firefighters and over 20 pieces of apparatus and support vehicles from Selden FD, Centereach FD, Coram FD, Ronkonkoma FD, Holtsville FD and Farmingville FD contained the fire in a little over an hour.
In addition to the departments above, the Selden Fire Department was assisted on scene by Port Jeff Ambulance, Medford Ambulance and Brookhaven Town Fire Coordinators. Terryville FD and Setauket FD stood by at the Selden FD HQ and handled three additional EMS alarms during the fire.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Brookhaven Town Fire Marshals Office and Suffolk County PD Arson Squad.
A Suffolk County Police officer was treated for smoke inhalation after he entered a burning home to evacuate a man and woman in Selden Saturday evening.
Police said 6th Precinct officers responded to a 911 call reporting a fire at a home located at 57 Abinet Court at around 4:55 p.m.
Officer Sean Kalletta entered the burning home and found two residents attempting to rescue their two dogs. Officer Kalletta escorted Robert Baker, 55, and his wife Debra Baker, 51, out of their home and attempted to rescue the dogs. One of the dogs bit the officer. Officer Kalletta was later transported to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation and a dog bite.
The Selden Fire Department responded to the scene to extinguish the fire. First Assistant Chief Keith Kostrna and Farmingville Fire Department Firefighter Richard Piccirello rescued a dog from the residence. Units from the Centereach, Coram, Setauket, Terryville and Medford fire departments also assisted. Police officers transported the dog to Animal Emergency Service in Selden for treatment. The dog is expected to recover. A second dog exited the home on its own and was uninjured.
Suffolk County Arson Section detectives are investigating the cause of the fire.
Two neighboring hamlets joined forces last week to raise awareness for pediatric cancer. On March 6, the Centereach and Selden fire departmentsalong with the Centereach Civic Association hosted a St. Baldrick’s Day event at the Selden Fire Department’s main firehouse.
Over 100 Centereach and Selden residents attended the event, and barbers and hairdressers from Rockabilly in Stony Brook and Blondie’s Salon in Centereach were on hand to shave the heads of men, women and children for a good cause. In total, over $23,000 was raised. The night included food, raffles and a performance by Irish step dancers from Mulvihill-Lynch Studio of Irish Dance.
Rob Wilson, Centereach resident and event coordinator, said he has been involved in St. Baldrick’s event for the past 18 years as either a shavee or a volunteer.
“We usually host this at the Centereach Fire Department but they are under construction, so our neighbors from the east were gracious enough to host it this year,” he said.
Wilson said they are shaving their heads in solidarity for those who are battling cancer and going through chemotherapy.
“The money we raise will fund childhood cancer research; we want to give those kids more holidays and more birthdays,” he said.
Diane Caudullo, president of the Centereach Civic Association, was glad everyone came out for the event.
“Every year this crowd comes out. This is a phenomenal turnout,” she said.
Wilson had similar thoughts.
“We are always together, we are two separate hamlets but one big community,” he said.
Candidates for fire commissioners in both the Centereach and Selden fire districts were on hand at the Nov. 20 Centereach Civic Association meeting, which was held in conjunction with the Selden Civic Association at the Selden firehouse, to introduce themselves to residents. On Dec. 10, residents will be able to vote for one fire commissioner in each district for a five-year term.
Centereach Fire District
Incumbent Thomas Doyle
Thomas Doyle is seeking reelection in this year’s election. Doyle has also been the chairman of the board of fire commissioners for the past three years.
He said highlights of his time as commissioner include helping to improve the district’s bond rating from A1 to AAA, being fiscally responsible and staying within budget each year.
Doyle has been a Lake Grove resident since 2003 and is committed to protecting and being accountable to the people of the Centereach and Lake Grove communities.
Challenger Cathy Padro
Cathy Padro said she is running for the fire commissioner position to make the fire district more responsive to community residents and fire department members alike.
A longtime resident of Centereach and Lake Grove, she has been a member of the fire department for five years. She is EMT certified, serves as a member of the training staff and is an adviser to the department’s junior company.
Padro is active in the community, having served as a school PTA member and as a religion teacher at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary R.C. Church for over 10 years.
She has championed the Teddy Bear Clinic sponsored by the district and held at local schools. If elected, Padro is committed to restoring this program, which was recently scaled back. She believes training for members should be expanded and the ongoing building renovation project completed in a transparent and fiscally responsible manner.
Selden Fire District
Incumbent Robert McConville
Robert McConville has served as fire commissioner for the past 10 years and has been the chairman of the board for the past eight. He is seeking another five-year term.
McConville has been a 37-year member of the Selden Fire Department and a 52-year member of the Suffolk County Volunteer Fire Service.
McConville said everything the board of fire commissioners does is a group effort. He touted the “great inroads” the department has made in the last five years. Highlights include overhauling the department’s existing fleet, continuing to have some of the best trained firefighters and overseeing one of the busiest volunteer firefighter departments in the state.
Challenger William Xikis
Looking to unseat McConville for the fire commissioner position, William Xikis has been a Selden native for over 45 years and has deep roots in the community. He has been a 34-year member of the Selden Fire Department and is an active member of the fire district.
Xikis served as the chief of the Selden Fire Department in 2005, 2006, 2017
He said that one of his goals during his tenure as chief of the department was to have better communication with the board of fire commissioners.
In the role of commissioner, he will make sure tax dollars are spent judicially and ensure they continue to have a strong support system.
Centereach residents can vote at the fire district headquarters located at 9 South Washington Ave. Dec. 10. Polls will be open from 2 to 9 p.m.
Selden residents will vote at the main firehouse on Woodmere Place from 3 to 9 p.m. Dec. 10.
There will also be a resolution where residents will be asked to vote on the purchase of an aerial/ladder truck at an estimated maximum cost of $1,600,000, authorizing the financing by an installment purchase contract for the purchase price over a maximum five-year term of level payments at an interest rate of 3.12 percent.
The Selden Fire Department remembered the life of a fallen hero by dedicating a new memorial park April 6.
Fifty years ago, Chief Arnold Seaman was killed in the line of duty while responding to a fire at Newfield High School. On the way to the high school April 10, 1969, Seaman was involved in a car crash. He was taken to the hospital but did not survive his injuries.
The park named in his honor was built on the corner of Hawkins Avenue and North Bicycle Path near the site of the fatal crash. Friends and family paid tribute to the late Seaman, hailed as a true American hero.
Jack Emr was the assistant fire chief of the department at the time of the crash and took over as chief after Seaman’s death. He said burying his close friend took a big chunk of his heart.
“Every April 10, I have a beer and I say, ‘Chief, save me a seat for me on the fire truck, I’ll be there soon,’” he said.
In the center of the park is a memorial honoring the late chief with a bronze helmet, an exact replica of the one he wore 50 years ago. The area around the park was designated as Chief Arnold Seaman Way.
Jim Seaman, Arnold’s son, thanked the crowd for coming to the dedication and said since the day of the crash 50 years ago, the Selden Fire Department has had the family’s back. “It is a debt we can never repay, and I thank them,” he said.
Jim Seaman reminisced about being named an honorary fireman back in 1969, displaying to the crowd the badge he was given all those years ago. He also mentioned an experience about ten years ago, when at an installation dinner he was called up and handed a fire chief’s jacket, calling it the greatest honor of his life.
“I know my father is looking down and is beaming ear to ear right now,” he said.
Later in his speech he added, “This [park] is something as a family we can be proud of. It’s something 10 years from now my father’s great-grandchildren can come and visit.”
On Aug. 23, the Holiday Inn Express Stony Brook hosted a 4-on-4 volleyball tournament with local fire departments, including Setauket, Centereach and Selden, competing to win and raise money for the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation. The money raised will help to buy “bailout systems,” which are personal escape kits, for fire departments in need all over the country.
The winners of the $1,000 prize money were members of New York City Fire Department’s Watkins Station Engine 231/Ladder 120 — Darren Fenton, Patrick Tulley, Connor Norman and Anthony Edrehi. The tournament winners and John-Paul Sabbagh, from the Terryville Fire Department who won the event’s 50/50 raffle, donated their winnings back to the foundation.
The event cost $20 to enter, and the tournament was judged by John Tsunis, owner of the hotel; Joe DiBernardo Sr.; and Leah Dunaief, publisher of Times Beacon Record News Media. Dan Keller from Stony Brook University’s athletics department served as referee.
Tsunis said the hotel hopes to make the tournament an annual event, adding, “It was a lot of fun to have all the firefighters there and all the community members we recruited to play.”
Suffolk County Police arrested a man for driving while intoxicated after a crash that seriously injured a pedestrian in Coram Sept. 10.
Robert Slawinski was driving a 2010 Jeep Wrangler southbound on Old Town Road, near Hyson Way, when the vehicle struck Anthony Loiodici who was walking on the shoulder of the roadway at approximately 10:20 p.m. Slawinski fled the scene, but called 911 about an hour later to report hitting something on Old Town Road.
Loiodici, 48, of Medford, was transported by Selden Fire Department ambulance to Stony Brook University Hospital in critical condition. Slawinski, and a passenger in the vehicle, Molly Toye, 31, of Oneonta, New York were not injured.
Sixth Squad detectives arrested Slawinski, 47, of Mastic, and charged him with driving while intoxicated. Slawinski was held overnight at the 6th Precinct. He is scheduled for arraignment at First District Court in Central Islip today, Sept. 11.
Detectives are asking anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS (8477).
Suffolk County Police 6th Squad detectives are investigating a motor vehicle crash that killed a motorcyclist in Selden Sept. 10.
Jared Tepperman was riding a 2001 Honda motorcycle northbound on Boyle Road when his motorcycle struck a 2010 Honda Accord, which was also traveling northbound, at the intersection of Hemlock Street at approximately 4:10 p.m.
Tepperman, 21, of Smithtown, was transported via Selden Fire Department ambulance to Stony Brook University Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The driver of the Honda, Stacey Rios, 44, and her passenger, Daniel Loria, 45, both of Selden, were transported to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
Detectives are seeking the identity of another motorcyclist who was involved in the incident and fled the scene prior to police arrival.
Both vehicles were impounded for a safety check. Detectives are asking anyone with information on this crash to call the 6th Squad at 631-854-8652.