Firefighter. Credit: iStock

The Aug. 20 news story “Life saved, now lifesavers” reminded me of my story.

In 1928, my family resided on Church Street in Bohemia. We owned a barbershop, a candy store and a three-family house with two empty apartments. The apartments were being renovated.

Men working in the apartments placed heaters on cardboard boxes to help dry the fresh paint. During the night, the setup caught fire. My family was asleep on the first floor and didn’t notice the second-floor fire. By the time my father awoke, the smoke in our apartment was thick.

My father ran out the back door. My mother woke up and ran out the front door. Each thought the other had taken me with them! I was 2, inside with the family dog. The back door was locked, and my father couldn’t get in. Fortunately, the firefighters got in and saved me and our dog.

We eventually moved to Sayville, and my father joined the fire department. Following in his footsteps, in 1933, I joined the junior department. Ten years later, I joined the regular department, and I’m still a member today. I’m happy to say that I’ve done my job to repay God — and the fire department — for saving me.

William Fridrich Jr., Sayville

Editor’s note: The writer is a former chief of the Sayville Fire Department

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