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Golden aide extinguishes blaze in backyard of home

Candidate for fire safety: Council candidate Anthony Testaverde lept into action and quenched a blaze roaring inside Aster Court resident Jose Gonzalez’s lawn chairs on Monday, while he was canvasing Gerritsen Beach for signatures to run on the independent party line.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

If he doesn’t win the City Council race, at least he’s got a future in firefighting.

Anthony Testaverde was driving through Gerritsen Beach Monday afternoon, collecting signatures for his upcoming campaign to replace Councilman Lew Fidler, when he got an early lesson in constituent services.

“We were petitioning, driving down Gerritsen Avenue and we saw some smoke,” said the Independent party candidate. “It smelled like an electrical fire.”

Testaverde’s nose wasn’t lying.

As the candidate’s car passed Allen Avenue, a local man flagged him down and ushered him to the backyard of Jose Gonzalez’s Aster Court home. There he found a hanging electrical cable spitting sparks.

After verifying that 911 had been notified and the fire department was on route, Testaverde decided to stick around in case the fire fighters needed a hand.

Suddenly, matters took a turn for the worse.

The smoldering wire dropped, and Gonzalez’s lawn chairs and his kids’ see-saw were soon engulfed in flame. Testaverde sprung into action and courageously grabbed a nearby garden hose.

“I was just spraying,” said the valiant council candidate. “I didn’t want the fire getting out of control.”

The candidate said he wasn’t unaware of the danger in using water to combat an electrical fire, but decided to take his chances lest the fire claim more property — or worse.

“You gotta do what you gotta do,” he said.

Testaverde quenched the burning lawn chairs before the firefighters arrived and left before Gonzalez could return home to thank him.

“Thank god for that dude,” the grateful homeowner said later.

As for Testaverde, the neighbors never did help him out with those signatures.

“They didn’t give me any signatures,” said Testaverde. “But, I don’t think they registered along the independent line.”

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.

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