The Revere community is rallying around popular high school teacher and coach Joe Ciccarello following a one-alarm fire Sunday morning that destroyed the family home in Melrose.
Ciccarello and his wife, Adeline, were able to exit safely as flames engulfed the single-family home. The Ciccarellos were alerted to the fire by the barking of their small dog, Emmie. Firefighters arrived quickly on the scene and doused the flames. The firefighters also located Emmie in a front room and carried the dog to safety.
Ciccarello’s two daughters, Alli, 16, and Jenna, 14, were not home at the time of the fire. They were at a friend’s sleepover.
“Everybody’s safe,” said Ciccarello. “We lost things and things can be replaced.”
Ciccarello’s college and high school classmates, friends, colleagues, former softball and hockey players, and students have made donations to a GoFundMe page to assist the family, who lost all of their belongings in the fire.
Ciccarello said he is touched by the outpouring of support and generosity the family has received the last few days.
“I said to my wife, ‘I’m so glad my kids are experiencing this.’ I know they’re going to be better people because they can recognize what generosity looks like and what happens when you’re a good person,” said Ciccarello. “That’s why it’s so important to make sure you give and you’re there for people, because what comes around goes around. They’re learning a valuable lesson.”
Ciccarello and his family are currently staying at their in-laws’ residence. They hope to rent an apartment in Melrose, where their two children attend school.
“I’m beyond grateful to all the people who have called and offered their support and kind words,” said Ciccarello. “It makes you really put everything in life in perspective. It’s the people, the relationships you make, and the people around you, that’s the most important thing. Sometimes it takes something like this to make you realize it.”