Neighbor Gives Bangor Family Free Home after Fire

Updated 11 months ago

On Thursday, a Bangor family was hit with tragedy.

“It was like a bowl of fire coming up from the bottom, and I turned around, and I grabbed my canister of flour, and threw that on it, and I knew, it was pointless.”

Annie Smith is talking about her home. She was playing with her one year old and four year old when she heard an explosion and hiss coming from the furnace.

“And, I turned back around and I grabbed Bub’s boots and I threw them out on the porch and I scooped them both up, one on each hip and headed out the door,” said Smith.

Her dog followed her out the door and into one of the coldest days this winter. Fire crews battled the blaze, but were unable to safe their home of five years.

“At the time, I was kinda numb; going on instinct, you know, and then when the fire trucks showed up, and our neighbor, Mark and I were looking out the window, I lost it,” said Smith.

Roger Smith was working one of his two jobs at the time. He’s a correctional officer for Hancock County Jail.

What has been the hardest for him and his family to believe is the outpouring of support from his community.

They’ve received help from family, friends, and strangers.

The biggest is from his neighbor.  He’s giving them a trailer he owns with another couple.  It hasn’t been rented in over a year, and now they’re giving it to them.

“I’d rather have him have it then just rent it out. I rented it for about two years, or more than that, about three years, and he needs it, and they’re welcome to it,” said Russell Bleckhorn.

They say although it needs quite a bit of work, “It’s a roof over the head. It will be warm, and that’s just a big start. We have a place to go, and just knowing that we have a home 24 hours after losing ours is just a magnificent feeling. Just the simple fact of being able to say that you have something again. Just to know they you can have a start again is just an unbelievable relief,” said Roger Smith.

“We are so seriously blessed, and never could I have ever imagined, or thought I even deserved it, you know,” said Annie Smith.

“It’s turned such a traumatic event into something very glorious. I just can’t express the feelings that I have inside of joy, of just people. Just people in general,” said Roger Smith.

If you want to help, you can drop items off at 285 Main Road in Carmel.

You can call Roger Smith Senior for more info at 570-3480.


  • brooksville1

    Wonderful! This is what Maine has always been about-helping others because it is the right thing to do.

  • Dorinda F

    This is so amazing. God bless you all. I can only hope that one day I would have someone like that in my life. Have a safe and warm winter. Thanks to all for the smile in my heart.

  • T H

    It is good to see people helping people like this. But one question why did they not have home owners insurance to cover any loses like that? If they did then their things would have atleast been replaced by their insurance. People should think about getting home owners or tenets insurance, the cost is cheap esp in a case like this.

    • downeasttiger

      Sadly, the working poor can’t afford renter’s insurance. They just scrape by. So, in a disaster like this, they lose their few hard earned possessions. It’s wonderful that folks who have a little more are stepping up to help.

      • xxskiier

        Look, not saying this isn’t a terrible thing, but owning a dog costs more than the annual cost of renters’ insurance.

    • Foreigner

      Are you really so responsible in your own life that you find value in judging others in minuscule detail? Really? I mean really? Best of luck to the family and congratulations to those who found generosity in their hearts. I will endevour to do the same today and stop arguing with time wasters.

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