Letter carrier hailed as hero after battling house fire

July 23, 2011 12:38:02 PM PDT
A letter carrier was hailed as a hero this week after he helped extinguish a fire at a Santa Clara townhouse, according to the U.S. Postal Service.

On Wednesday, Danny Paeste, a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service, stopped at 1343 Sarita Way to drop off mail when he noticed a woman and two children standing outside the townhouse, their faces shrouded in distress, postal service officials said.

The woman told him she had been babysitting the children when a fire broke out in the kitchen and was quickly getting out of control.

When Paeste saw black smoke coming out of the house, he called 911 and then grabbed a garden hose.

He dragged the hose inside the house and tried to control the flames, but realized it was too short to reach the ceiling above the stove, so he found another hose, combined the two hoses, and began to fight the fire from a crouched position, all the while preventing himself from breathing in the hot smoke.

Firefighters arrived and evacuated the babysitter, the children and neighbors in adjacent homes.

After the fire was under control, Paeste continued on his rounds, postal service officials said.

No one was harmed in the fire.

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