UPS Driver Acts Quickly, Contains Hamilton Avenue Fire

Charred furnishings sit outside a Hamilton Avenue home that was saved by the quick actions of UPS driver Paul Pereira. (Frank Komola photograph for WHAV News.)

You expect your UPS delivery driver to bring packages, but it is quite another sight for one to run up your front steps and put out a fire.

But, that’s exactly what driver Paul Pereira did early Monday night at 18 Hamilton Ave. He said he was making a turn from Main Street onto Hamilton Avenue shortly after 7 p.m., when something unusual caught his eye.

“I noticed an orange glow coming from in-between two chairs on a porch and there was a wicker table on fire.”

Pereira’s fast response may have saved lives. “I pulled over real quick and I jetted to the house and started banging on the door, screaming fire, fire, fire.”

A mother and daughter came out of the house unaware of flames now running up the side of the porch. The mother was in back, out on a deck, and the daughter was upstairs in her bedroom. Once he was sure everyone was safe and that 911 had been called, he asked for a garden hose and a neighbor rushed over with one.

“I hooked it up to the side of the house and I just took the hose and started dousing the fire out.”

He said the fire was caused by an object on the table. Residents were not only thankful, but friended him on social media. “They were grateful. They were calling me a hero. I don’t feel that I’m a hero. I just feel that I did what had to be done when you see something happening.”

Pereira contained the fire, and then gave a statement to fire inspectors who arrived at the scene. “I did my best to limit the damage that was done to the house.”

Pereira, of Manchester, N.H., has worked for United Parcel Service 23 years, currently out of the Chelmsford office. He is a member of Teamsters Local 25. A little late, but Pereira completed making his deliveries about 8:30, Monday night.