COMMACK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island boy and his father are being hailed as heroes by fire officials after they saved a family whose home was burning.
As CBS 2’s John Slattery reported, 10-year-old Christopher Schneider was at his Ulster Court home in Commack on Monday afternoon when he noticed the house next door was on fire.
“I saw a giant amount of big smoke, and black,” Christopher said.
Christopher alerted his dad, Russell, who then saw fire climbing up the rear of the house and yelled to his son to call 911 before he ran next door.
“I screamed and yelled and pounded on the front door,” Russell said.
Marc Kimmel was inside the house with his pregnant wife, Doreen, and 2-year-old son, Anthony.
“There was a neighbor telling me my house was on fire,” Kimmel, 39, told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall. “The point was I ran to the back to see where the fire was, ran back in the house when I saw the fire and told my wife and my 2-year-old to get out of the house.”
“It was fire everywhere,” said Kimmel told Slattery. “The fire was all the way up the wall, on the facade, underneath. It was just basically engulfed.”
Russell not only got the family out, but he also went in with a garden house to get the fire under control.
“He had his hose, and we both started shooting toward the house,” Kimmel said.
It was then that the Fire Department arrived praising the work of the neighbors.
“Amazing,” Commack Assistant Fire Chief Paul Carnevale said. “They definitely saved the residents’ lives.”
Christopher said he learned during a safety class in school that black smoke is a serious danger.
“I don’t know if I’m a hero hero, like Superman,” Christopher said. “I guess I’m a community hero.”
Kimmel was grateful for Christopher’s actions.
“If he wasn’t home, I would have never known about the fire,” Kimmel told Hall. “We were in the other side of the home. There was no way the fire would’ve ever been noticed to us until it was already too late. If this little boy didn’t do what he did, we would not be alive today.
“I love him,” Kimmel told Slattery. “He’s my guardian angel.”
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