BANGOR — Alfred Snyder and his daughter, Nicole, were sleeping when neighbors kicked down their door and shouted for them to leave their burning home.
Their house on County Route 22 in North Bangor was badly damaged Friday by a late afternoon fire. Fire crews from a number of northern Franklin County were still on the scene as of press time.
Alfred Snyder had saved one of their rescuers years prior after the man was struck by a car. Snyder, his daughter and their pets made it to safety before flames engulfed the upstairs of the home along County Route 22 in Bangor.
Several area rescue agencies responded to the blaze.
“My father loves this house,” said Nicole Snyder. “My mother died in this house 13 years ago, and he won’t leave it.”
Christopher Comstock, who lives across the road from the Snyder home, was helping a neighbor when he saw a light haze.
“I thought it was weird, because I knew Alfred didn’t have any burning barrels.”
He saw flames licking the bottom edge of the roof and immediately ran over with another neighbor and kicked in the front door.
“They were both sleeping,” Comstock said. “He was sleeping upstairs and she was downstairs.”
Nicole Snyder worked that morning, returning home after morning chores. She took care of the animals and settled downstairs for a nap while her father, Alfred, slept upstairs.
She woke up to yelling.
“Thank god the neighbor came and busted down the door,” she said. “My dad is on oxygen.”
Nicole grabbed the dogs and fled the house with her father, securing her pets in her car. From what she could tell, the fire started upstairs, toward the back of the house.
“Most everything I own is upstairs.”
Comstock said Alfred saved his life years earlier. Comstock was riding his bike along County Road 22 when a car struck him.
“It was a traumatic injury,” Comstock said. “Alfred saved my life those years ago. It’s crazy how things happen.”
Flames and smoke could be seen along the bottom edge of the roof and the upstairs windows as firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze. Flames and dark smoke erupted from a side window and the roof after a firefighter on a ladder cut away a square of roof with a chain saw.
Nicole is grateful for her neighbors’ quick actions. Firefighters also salvaged the blanket her mother had given her.
“One of my biggest fears is a house fire,” she said. “I never thought in a million years.
“We were very luck,” she continued. “Whenever I leave the house, my dad says, ‘You are my best friend.’”