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Paul Furey ran to the rescue of Bernard Hawco Sr. when the latter caught fire Tuesday
The son of a Chapel’s Cove senior who caught fire while doing yard work is crediting the man’s neighbour with saving his life.
“At the end of the day he’s the hero. He did everything right and because of that I still got a dad,” Bernard Hawco Jr. said of the man who saved his father, Bernard Hawco Sr.
The family decided to make Bernard Hawco Sr.’s name public Thursday after The Telegram told the story about Tuesday’s fire.
Paul Furey had spotted his neighbour Tuesday afternoon by happenstance as he went to the trunk of his car instead of heading to do some work in his backyard. Hawco Sr. was in his meadow across the road, a distance of a block and a half away from Furey, and was staggering around.
Furey realized his neighbour was on fire and ran to his aid.
Hawco Sr. remains in hospital, and his son said it’s a day-to-day process.
“He is in great spirits. He is amazing everybody,” the son said of his father.
Hawco Jr. said the family is grateful to Furey, and he hopes to meet him.
“I definitely want to recognize Paul Furey as an outstanding member of the community,” said Hawco Jr., who, along with other siblings scattered around the country, flew home to be with his father after the incident.
“I definitely want to recognize Paul Furey as an outstanding member of the community." — Bernard Hawco Jr.
According to the RCMP, a 911 call was received before 1:30 p.m. Tuesday that a man was on fire. Police said the man was burning brush, and some of the gas he used as an accelerant splashed on him.
Furey described to The Telegram a scene in which he first tried patting his neighbour — who was engulfed in flames — down with gloves, then a jacket and then a seat cushion from Hawco Sr.’s truck. Hawco Sr.’s boots kept reigniting, said Furey, who got the senior out of the burning clothes and seated in the truck until paramedics arrived. Furey also extinguished most of the brush fire, which had spread.
On Facebook, Hawco Jr., a first responder in Ontario, praised Furey as a true hero and acknowledged the well wishes that have been flooding in.
“My family would like to recognize and thank everyone who has helped out, sent wishes and have been praying for my dad’s recovery. As a first responder I want to personally thank the first responders — from the local fire department, the paramedics and all the hospital staff at Health Sciences Centre,” Hawco Jr. said in his post.