GUILDERLAND: Family rebuilds after blaze

Time stopped early last week at the tan, one-story house at 3393 Carman Road in Guilderland.

Warped signs warn of a dog that no longer lives there, and the living room clock still reads 10:20 a.m., the hour when Arnold Naparty's family fled the burning building.

It was a real shock, Naparty said of the Tuesday, June 19 fire that destroyed his home. "It's pretty well totaled."

The fire broke out Tuesday morning while Naparty was at work. His girlfriend's daughter, Alisha Taylor, 20, was babysitting three nephews and a niece when one of the kids smelled smoke and Taylor saw flames on the back porch.

Wasting no time, Taylor dialed 9-1-1, yelled at the dog to run, grabbed the children and got out.

"It was split-second thought," she said.

Outside, Taylor tried to spray the flames with a garden hose. Firefighters arrived 11 minutes after her call, a period she said "felt like a lifetime," but the rear of the house could not be saved.

Heat from the flames also damaged the neighbor's siding at 3395 Carman Road.

The community has praised the young woman's bravery, but Taylor is modest, her thoughts focused on the family's future.

"I don't see myself as a hero. I did what I had to do, and I got them out of the house and that's all there is to it," Taylor said.

Naparty said he hopes to rebuild once he's compensated for the damage, but for now the family will seek an apartment in Guilderland.

"It's not a bad [insurance] policy," he said. "I think I'll be all right."

But it's hard to be optimistic in the face of such loss. Items of sentimental value, including Naparty's NASCAR collectibles, won't be easy to replace.

"We're still kind of like in denial almost," Taylor said, sitting under a backyard tent with her family and dog a few days after the fire. Nearby, her nephew Antonio, 2, played in a half-melted plastic car. A faint smell of smoke wafted from the debris surrounding the boarded-up house, which Naparty bought 26 years ago.

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