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Neighbors helped each other in Bangor fire that displaced seven people

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 12:57 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - A fire that destroyed two apartment buildings in Bangor Monday night is being called accidental by fire officials.

The State Fire Marshal’s office was back at Center Street Avenue On Tuesday, trying to find the exact cause.

Thankfully, everyone was able to get out safely thanks to neighbors looking out for each other.

“I’m trying to hold it together,” said Crystal Fogelman, later she said, “I’ve never had anything on my own before, ever.”

Fogelman says she still can’t believe her home and everything in it is gone.

TV5 received video of the fire taken by Effie Rideout before firefighters arrived.

The man in the video is her husband, Ken Whitehouse, who was trying to see if he could help anyone get to safety.

“We were just hanging out and all of a sudden, we were told to get out of the house. We didn’t even know why we’re getting out of the house,” said Dan French who lived next door to Fogelman. His home was also destroyed.

Officials say when they got to Center Street Avenue Monday evening, both buildings where Dan French and Crystal lived were on fire.

“All I know is that I heard an explosion from that side of the building on the gray building, and it rocked my apartment building so hard, I hit the floor in the kitchen,” Fogelman said.

Fogelman, her friend and Fogelman’s cat all got out and ran down to help the man who lives below her who she says is disabled.

“I ran down I kicked down his door, got him out, and the neighbor from down there helped me get him the rest of the way over here,” she said.

Crystal is one of seven people displaced by the fire and officials believe both of these buildings will have to come down due to extensive damage.

Even though she almost lost everything, she’s still thankful.

Like French who said, “When the lady was banging on our door, you know, if I had taken 30 seconds longer to get out of the house, I wouldn’t be talking about, I’d still be in the house. You know, if she hadn’t banged on the door, we never would have known. We probably would have gone up in flames, really, you know, I wish I knew who she was like, to shake her hand.”

Fire officials say a dog died in the fire.

There are already several GoFundMe fundraisers that have been set up to help some of the victims.

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