UPS’ Pereira Receives Honors for Containing Haverhill House Fire

Paul Pereira, center, with Ken Burrows, UPS center manager, and Ivy Brown, UPS district manager, following a recognition ceremony Thursday morning in Chelmsford. (Cindy Driver photograph for WHAV News.)

UPS Driver Paul Pereira was honored by his managers and colleagues Thursday morning for his quick action and selfless service dousing a porch fire early Monday night at a Hamilton Avenue home.

Pereira, of Manchester, N.H., was presented by the company with a Certificate of Recognition for “going above and beyond and being concerned with the well-being of our customers and community.” The ceremony took place at a UPS distribution center in Chelmsford, following the company’s safety drill and usual full body stretches and leg kicks. Pereira told WHAV News earlier he does not consider himself a hero.

“I did my best to limit the damage that was done to the house,” he said.

Pereira spotted the fire shortly after 7 p.m., Monday, just as he turned his truck from Main Street onto Hamilton Avenue. He stopped, ran up the stairs to the home and banged on the door to alert residents. A mother and daughter were home, but unaware a wicker table had caught fire and flames were beginning to travel up the side of the house. The driver proceeded to secure a garden hose and extinguish the fire.

Ken Burrows, UPS center manager, and Harvey Hill, human resources director, called Pereira forward to be honored to the cheers and thumbs-up of his co-workers.

Speaking separately with WHAV News, Haverhill Fire Chief William F. Laliberty also credited Pereira for containing the flames.

“I want to thank him for his efforts because the video truly shows that he did probably save the house from getting further damage,” the chief said.

The fire chief warned, however, others shouldn’t try to repeat Pereira’s actions in other cases. “I do not recommend that the public make that a common practice though because, although he was very heroic, he could have also become a victim. It’s a fine line for that and while we go in with proper gear protection, he had no protection.”

Laliberty said careless disposal of cigarette was the cause of the fire.

Pereira has worked for United Parcel Service 23 years. He is a member of Teamsters Local 25.

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 Pereira forward to be honored. (Cindy Driver photograph for WHAV News.)

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2 Comments

  1. Deborah Weaver said:

    Everyone here at the Kevin B. Comeau Funeral Home would like to thank Mike Verette for his quick response to the house fire on Hamilton Street. We are proud to have such a dedicated employee on our staff. Thank you Mike Verette

  2. Mike Lupi said:

    Great story. And I commend the UPS driver on his bravery & quick response to put out the fire. But actually there was one more gentleman that was just as involved. His name is Mike Verette. Mr Verrette was just getting off duty from working at Comeau’s Funeral Home across the street when he heard women screaming. He ran up the street and arrived about the same time as the UPS gentleman. He was actually the one that connected the garden hose to the outside faucet and got it going for the UPS guy. Thanks, Mike Verette…….

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