Letter Carrier Danny Paeste recently was on his appointed rounds delivering mail when he noticed a distressed babysitter and two children standing outside their house.
The babysitter told Paeste there was a fire in the kitchen that was getting out of control. When Paeste noticed black smoke coming out of the house, he took immediate action by first calling 911, then instinctively grabbing a garden hose and entering the house. He dragged the hose into the house towards the flames that were starting to reach the ceiling over the stove. However, the hose was too short.
As the fire started to gain intensity, Paeste had the presence of mind to get another hose, attach them together and begin putting the fire out. “I had to crawl toward the stove in a crouched position to keep from breathing the hot smoke,” Paeste said.
Paeste stayed with the frightened babysitter and children until the Santa Clara Fire Department arrived at the scene, and then he simply picked up his mail bag and completed his scheduled deliveries.
“Every day, somewhere in the country, a postal employee comes to the aid of a customer, and in many cases life-threatening situations,” stated Santa Clara Postmaster Rick Keppeler. “Letter carriers are the eyes and ears of the neighborhoods they serve, and Paeste is just another example of the informal neighborhood watch we provide while delivering the mail.”