Community rallies to support Welland family devastated by fire

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    Community rallies to support Welland family devastated by fire

    WELLAND — Two Welland men are in critical condition after a garage fire gutted a family home at 76 Hunter Dr. Saturday night.

    Homeowner Roberto Cosentino and his brother, Cesar Cosentino, were airlifted from Welland Hospital to Hamilton with extensive burns after the fire broke out in the garage where the two were working on a car.

    “It sounds like they were changing a fuel pump in the car,” said deputy fire chief Brian Kennedy, explaining it appears contact with an electrical light ignited a vapour or fuel in the garage.

    Welland fire crews received the call at 6:01 p.m. on Saturday, and Kennedy was the first on scene, arriving to find the garage engulfed in flames that had spread into the house. Cesar was found out front of the house, his brother in the backyard according to Kennedy.

    Roberto, it seems, was helped to the backyard by neighbouring resident Jason Vienneau, who was first alerted to the fire by the sound of screaming as he had a cigarette outside his Clare Avenue home. His backyard connects with that of the Cosentinos.

    “I could hear kids screaming,” said Vienneau, a 35-year-old father of two. He at first thought maybe a child was hurt in the woodlot adjacent to his property.

    As he headed to check it out the presence of smoke alerted him to the true nature of the emergency.

    He arrived, slightly ahead of fire crews, to find Roberto’s teenage son on the street pleading for help.

    “His son was begging for us to break through the garage door,” said Vienneau, recalling at…

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