Fire Chief, Council Commend Hero UPS Driver for Saving Home from Blaze

Ken Burrows, UPS center manager, and Harvey Hill, human resources director, called Pereira forward to be honored. (Cindy Driver photograph for WHAV News.)

Ken Burrows, UPS center manager, and Harvey Hill, human resources director, called Paul Pereira forward during a recent ceremony at UPS.  (Cindy Driver photograph for WHAV News.)

UPS driver Paul Pereira’s moment in the spotlight continued Tuesday night as Fire Chief William F. Laliberty and the City Council commended him for extinguishing a porch fire on Hamilton Avenue while making his delivery rounds on April 10.

The Manchester, N.H., resident regularly delivers on a route that includes downtown Haverhill, Laliberty said. While delivering packages, Pereira noticed furniture burning on the porch at 18 Hamilton Ave., alerted the residents, and borrowed a hose from a neighbor to extinguish the blaze. He then completed his package deliveries, according to a report on WHAV.

With Pereira’s family looking on, Laliberty offered an official commendation: “In recognition of your quick action and bravery … you recognized a dangerous situation and without any thought to your personal safety prevented a porch fire from extending into a dwelling. I want to thank you.”

City Councilor Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien told Pereira his actions had the effect of restoring her faith in people.

“A lot of people might have driven by and gone ‘Oh my gosh,’ or maybe they would have dialed 911, but to have you run right in without a thought for yourself, it’s really inspiring,” Daly O’Brien said.

A couple of city councilors couldn’t help borrowing some of the delivery company’s marketing phrases in their comments.

Councilor William J. Macek said he saw news accounts of the fire, and noted the flames grew to an impressive height before Pereira brought it under control.

“It accelerated quickly and you … you really did deliver,” Macek said.

Not to be outdone, Councilor Andy X. Vargas quipped, “You really expanded the definition of ‘what Brown can do for you.’ ”