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Twins Learn of Each Other Through Firefighting

June 18, 1986 GMT

PARAMUS, N.J. (AP) _ Two volunteer firemen, unaware they were twins separated at birth, were reunited after a friend spotted their resemblance during a firefighters’ convention.

Jim Tedesco, 32, a marketing representative for Public Service Electric & Gas Co. who works here as a fire captain with Mark Newman, is credited with bringing the twins together after seeing Newman’s brother, Jerry Levey, at the September convention in Wildwood.

As Tedesco strolled with his wife, Renee, she pointed out a man who looked like Newman. But Tedesco dismissed it because the man, Levey, was standing too far away.

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The next day, the Tedescos were having a drink with a friend when Levey walked into the bar.

″That’s when I really got a close-up look, and I said, ’That really looks like him,‴ Tedesco recalled today.

Tedesco said he knew Levey could not be Newman because Newman was in Paramus at the time.

″I kept looking at him and I listened to him talking and the voice was identical,″ he said, adding that he then introduced himself to Levey by saying, ″I know a fellow that looks like you.″

Levey’s birthdate was close to that of Newman and both had been adopted, Tedesco said.

He got Levey’s phone number and headed home to fit together the pieces of the puzzle.

Without telling Newman, Tedesco confirmed that the birthdates of the men - April 15, 1954, - were identical, and that both had been born in Manhattan Hospital in the Bronx, N.Y.

Levey apparently never knew he had a brother, although Newman knew of a brother, but not a twin, Tedesco said.

A short time later, Tedesco lured Newman to Tinton Falls, where Levey lives, supposedly to look at a firetruck.

At first, nothing happened. ″None, no reaction, which was very disheartening,″ Tedesco said.

Newman became impatient.

″What the heck did you bring me down here for?″ Tedesco recalled Newman saying. ″There’s nothing special about this firetruck.″

After a few minutes, Tedesco told Newman, ″Look at Jerry, doesn’t he look like someone you know?″

But it wasn’t until Levey took off a cap he was wearing and Newman saw that he and Levey had identical bald spots on their heads that he was convinced Levey was his brother.

″That was the key. Mark said, ’Oh my God,‴ Tedesco recalled.

The twins went into the men’s room, stood side by side and gazed at their reflection in the mirror, Tedesco said.

Newman called his adoptive mother, who confirmed it.

″There was a weird feeling that I couldn’t explain. All I knew is that after I saw him I needed a beer and he did too,″ said Levey.

Since last fall, the twins have visited regularly. Both are single.

Newman could not be reached for comment. He has no home listing, and his brother said he was on a business trip.

Y-06-18-86 1221EDT