A UPS driver in Haverhill, Massachusetts, is being hailed as a hero after putting out a porch fire before it destroyed a home.
Paul Pereira says after working the same route for 13 years, customers become like neighbors. So when he saw a home going up in flames Monday night, Pereira says there was only one thing to do.
"I ran right for the door and wanted to make sure no one was in the house," Pereira said in a Thursday interview.
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
Behind that orange glow, a mother and her daughter had no idea their house was going up in flames.
"They came running out," he said.
Once the family was safe, Pereira took a nearby garden hose onto the porch at 18 Hamilton Ave. and started battling the fire by himself.
Neighbor Selena Sanchez captured video of the incident, and it's going viral.
"He literally is a hero, he saved them from dying," Sanchez said. "He legit didn't have to do that, but he did. He saved that house."
Pereira says the attention he's getting is overwhelming.
"All day today, I've been walking into my businesses and people are like, 'Oh, there's the hero, and there's the hero,' and I'm laughing about it," Pereira said.
He says "hero" is a strong word.
"I don't see what the big deal is," Pereira said.
As a UPS driver, Periera says taking care of customers is just part of the job.
"We're out here every day, we're in the community, we have our eyes open, we see everything around us. I think any of the guys I work with would've done the same thing," Pereira said.
The family appreciates it, saying they feel incredibly lucky that Pereira jumped into action. They say they don't just consider him their hero, but also their angel.
Pereira had about seven more deliveries after putting out the fire and he got to all of them on Monday night. It was a really long day, but he says it was well worth it.
Authorities say the fire started after someone threw away their cigarette on the porch.