HALLOWELL, Maine (WMTW) -- The Hallowell Fire Department received the call at 9:40 p.m. Tuesday: A single-family home at 1 Franklin Street in the downtown district was on fire.
Massive flames were coming from the front of the house as neighbors rushed out of their homes.
"I'm just devastated for this family. Fire is so scary," said Sylvia Katz, who lives up the road.
Hallowell police Officer Noah Lebel and a good Samaritan grabbed a ladder and put it up to the second landing on the back side of the building. The two rescuers were able to get to a father and his young daughter.
Officials said the dad took his daughter to a relative's house, so she didn't have to see her house burn down.
"That was wonderful, probably saved their lives," Katz said.
Peter Schumacher, and his young daughter, Lilli, lived in the home. Schumacher is well-known in town as a former city councilor, and a volunteer firefighter.
A firefighter on scene said it's a good thing the police officer and the civilian hero sprang into action when they did.
"Had it not been for police and bystander not putting the ladder up, this could have been a lot worse. Very lucky how everything turned out," said Lt. Logan Bennett, a member of the Hallowell Fire Department.
"Their house is destroyed. I'm not sure what they're going to do," Katz said.
Neighbors are rallying behind the family. A GoFundMe has already been launched with nearly $7,000 raised.
Firefighters said it's obvious the fire started in the front of the house, but the Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the cause, which is still undetermined at this time.
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