Fire Took Life Of Popular Barber
The 91-year-old man who tragically died in a Melville house fire early last week was a popular barber in town.
Domenico DeVito was found dead on the first floor of his New York Avenue home after a fire engulfed his home on Jan 4. DeVito worked as a barber at Five Barbers on Walt Whitman Road for the last 15 years.
The owner of the barbershop, Sergio Pinkhasov, described DeVito as a very nice man with a large following at Five Barbers.
“He had a lot of friends,” Pinkhasov said. “People used to say he could go for the mayor of Huntington because everybody knew him.”
DeVito, an Italian immigrant, had been a barber for many years before he began working at Five Barbers, Pinkhasov said.
DeVito, a great-grandfather, was living alone, taking care of himself and still driving his car to work, Pinkhasov said.
On the night that he died, about 75 firefighters with 12 trucks showed up to fight the house fire. The Melville Fire Department was dispatched at 9:52 p.m., and when they arrived at the 2629 New York Ave. scene, the house was completely engulfed in flames.
“The fire was blowing out the windows of the first floor upon our arrival,” Melville Fire Chief Mike McKeefrey said.
A tenant in his 30s was able to escape the blaze from the second floor.
Dix Hills, Huntington Manor, East Farmingdale and Plainview fire departments came to the aid of the 40 Melville fire department volunteers.
The cause of the fire continues to be investigated by the Suffolk Police Arson and Homicide Squads, Huntington Town and Melville Fire Marshals, but was not believed to be criminal.
DeVito is survived by his two granddaughters, Tracey Iazzetta and Meredith Macchione, and great-grandchildren, Joey, 9, and Brianna, 4. His daughter, Maria Macchione, died in 2004, and his wife, Maria DeVito, died in 2009.