Paul Pereira’s UPS shift took a lifesaving turn Monday evening when the Boston-area Teamsters Local 25 member rescued two people from a burning home.
With 12 stops left on his regular route, Pereira’s next stop was 18 Hamilton Ave. Two houses away, he saw a porch engulfed in flames. Pereira jumped out of his truck and immediately started banging on the door, screaming, “fire, fire, fire,” and helping a mother and her stepdaughter safely escape. Both had been upstairs and although they smelled smoke they thought it was coming from a nearby barbeque.
Once he knew everyone was out of the house, Pereira jumped back into action with a neighbor. They battled the blaze with a garden hose and were able to contain the fire in just minutes. “I hooked up the hose to the side of the house and I just started dousing the fire out,” said Pereira.
Calling him a hero, homeowner Brian Lavender was grateful to Pereira for all he did. “Knowing my wife and daughter were in the house – in a matter of minutes the house could have gone up in flames,” Lavender said. “We’re just really thankful he was attentive and took the time to come.”
“I’m humbled,” said the 22-year UPS member. “I’m just glad I could help save them and save their home. I’ve made friends for life. We’ll always be connected by this story that thankfully has a happy ending.”
Pereira, of Manchester, N.H., works out of the Chelmsford office. After the heroic stop, he went on to make his remaining deliveries and finish his shift.