Fire Chief Rescued After Falling Through Floor

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KULPMONT -- Flames forced three families from their homes and caused a fire chief to fall through a floor early Sunday morning in Northumberland County.

Neighbors say they can't remember ever hearing so many sirens in Kulpmont. But even with firefighters from around the area pitching in, the flames spread.

Flames shot into the dark as fire companies in Northumberland County tried to stop the destruction on Scott Street around 2 a.m.

Pictures and videos posted to Facebook show how the fire started on the top floor of the double block home with a new tin roof, then jumped next door where Helen Winhoffer was watching basketball.

"Somebody rapped on my door and said there was a fire and I said where?" Winhoffer said.

While everyone inside the homes got out OK, there was a scary moment when one of the firefighters got trapped. Chief Mike Snyder, from nearby Natalie, crashed through a third-floor stairway and fell down two levels, where firefighters helped him to safety.

"Everybody was fantastic, just fantastic. We could not have hoped for a better group of men," said Winhoffer.

But you won't hear the 77 year old lamenting her losses to all the people offering help. She's getting by with faith, family, and humor.

"She makes everyone happy. It's easy to take care of someone like that," said Andi Winhoffer, the fire victim's niece.

Chief Snyder initially declined medical treatment, but Sunday afternoon he went to the hospital to get checked out. He is expected to be OK.

A state police fire marshal is expected to investigate the cause of that fire on Monday.


  • yeti sasquatch

    It’s called a incident Commander and any chief with any sense would utilize any other chiefs as a extra set of eyes on the exterior of the structure and use captains as interior command and did you know why they send the truckies to vent the roof ? So they can see the real men inside ! Hahaha…..

  • David Tisano

    The Chief has no business being inside the structure, No Excuses A Chiefs place is in the front of the structure camanding the scene Period

    • Neil R Wingenroth

      When there are multiple fire companies reporting the local fire co. chief is in charge. The other companies’ chiefs are not in charge. So, I suppose they can perform as firefighters with the rest of the crews on the scene. Only one chief on the site is in charge.

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