When a UPS driver began banging on a woman’s door, he wasn’t there to deliver a package. Instead, it was for a startling reason that the homeowner discovered when she opened the door to find a chilling scene she will never be able to forget, and it was all unfolding right there on her front porch.
Paul Pereira, a UPS driver of 22 years, was headed for his last stop as he wrapped up his route for the day when a frightening scene caught his eye as he came around a corner, cruising through Haverhill, Massachusetts. What he saw had him bringing his big brown truck to a screeching halt as he leaped out the door and ran across the busy street and through a stranger’s front lawn.
With his heart pounding, he mounted the steps and reached the door. Paul immediately began to bang frantically, screaming for anyone inside to open up. Paul was on the front porch of Brian and Tracy Lavender’s house, and he was desperate to get the attention of whoever might be home.
Brian’s wife Tracy and his daughter Emily were home when the panicked knocking began. They had thought someone was barbequing, but they were about to open the door to a terrifying sight and realize just how wrong they had been. Paul had spotted a roaring fire on their front porch, which was engulfed in flames, threatening to send the entire home up in smoke, and the Lavenders had to get out.
Thanks to Paul, they did, escaping the inferno as bright orange, yellow, and red flames took over their front porch. “I just ran over, banged on the door, told the people in the house, ‘Your house (is) on fire!'” Paul recalled, according to WCBV. “They weren’t aware the house was on fire.”
“The next thing she knows, there was banging (and) ‘Fire, fire, fire get out,'” Brian Lavender said, speaking of his wife who was home at the time and had thought the smell was just someone in the neighborhood using a grill.
After making their way to safety, 911 was called as the blaze raged on. Paul wasn’t done being a hero when he alerted the family and they safely escaped the impending inferno. Instead, he began to shout at onlookers, begging for someone to find a hose.
There was no way Paul was going to stand there and watch the fire destroy this family’s home. In fact, a neighbor’s cellphone video shows the determined UPS driver climbing onto the porch to face the flames up close after getting the garden hose he had asked neighbors to find.
“I didn’t realize how big the flames were until I saw the video myself,” Paul said. Indeed, the cellphone footage captured at the scene proves just how heroic Paul Pereira was that day as he put himself in harm’s way for a complete stranger.
“By the time the fire department showed up, he had knocked down the fire. Had he not been there, that entire porch would have been engulfed,” neighbor Peter Brown told the local news, reflecting on Paul’s brave and selfless intervention as the man put himself at risk to save someone else’s home.
Now, the UPS driver is rightfully recognized as a local hero as he drives through the neighborhood, receiving high-fives from many residents and even hugs from Tracy Lavender herself after Paul likely saved her life and her home. In fact, they had quite the emotional reunion after the day Paul stepped up to tackle the fire that threatened the Lavender’s home.
“I don’t feel I am a hero. I think anybody would do it if they saw a fire, you know, act on it,” Paul said, but the family, who was in the process of buying the home, says their gratitude is immeasurable. Although it appears the fire started on a table, the exact cause is unknown.
What is known is that Paul Pereira’s brave response certainly saved this family from more heartache. Luckily, he wasn’t mindlessly driving down the street that day, staring out the windshield unaware of what was going on around him. Instead, he was paying attention, looking around, and keeping a watchful eye on the neighborhood. When he saw a chance to make a difference, he didn’t hesitate. This is one UPS driver who definitely delivers.