By Megan Connor
The quick thinking of a 10-year-old boy and his father saved their next-door neighbors from the flames of a dangerous house fire in Commack.
On Monday around 2:13 p.m., Christopher Schneider was playing in the backyard of his house at 7 Ulster Court, when he saw smoke coming from his neighbor’s house. Russel Schneider said his son couldn’t believe his eyes.
“He went over to me and asked if the smoke was coming from a barbeque. We quickly realized it was a house fire,” Russel said.
Inside the house at 5 Ulster Court were Marc Kimmell, his 8-and-a-half-months pregnant wife Doreen Kimmell and their 2-year-old son – all of whom were asleep.
Commack Fire Commissioner Pat Fazio said the incident could have been “far worse” for the Kimmell family had it not been for the Schneiders.
“They had no clue that all of this was happening. Thankfully, their quick reaction meant that the only injury was smoke inhalation,” Fazio said.
Russel Schneider said he and his son called 911, rushed to alert the sleeping neighbors, and then used a hose from their backyard to diminish the flames. The father said that, after all was said and done, he couldn’t be prouder of how his son handled the situation.
“I’m so proud of how calm Christopher was. He was so amazing through the whole thing. I can’t believe how well he did,” Russel said.
According to Fazio, the fire department arrived within minutes of the 911 call. The cause of the fire is under investigation but is not suspicious.