‘Their guardian an­gel’

Rose Blanche man rec­og­nized for sav­ing two men from burn­ing house

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ROSE BLANCHE, N.L. — If it wasn’t for Bill Wagg, two young men might not be alive to­day.

On Sept. 30, the Rose Blanche man was pre­sented with the New­found­land and Labrador Award for Brav­ery for res­cu­ing Pa­trick Savoury and Shane Hatcher from a house fire in 2014.

The award rec­og­nizes in­di­vid­u­als who risk their lives and safety to ren­der aid to another.

“It’s the most self­less act that a per­son can per­form when you think about it, to put their own life at risk for another, and in his case, with­out ques­tion,” said Bur­geo-La Poile MHA An­drew Par­sons, who pre­sented Wagg with the award.

Around 5:30 a.m. on June 3, 2014, Wag­ner, who is a welder, was get­ting ready to go to work when he spot­ted smoke com­ing from his neigh­bour’s house. Af­ter telling his wife to call the fire de­part­ment, Wag­ner en­tered the home, where he saw Hatcher stand­ing in a smoke-filled room.

Hatcher told Wagg his friend Savoury was sleep­ing up­stairs. Al­though the house be­came in­creas­ingly filled with heavy smoke, Wagg was able to lo­cate the stairs, find Savoury, and bring both men out­side be­fore the house was con­sumed by fire.

“If it wasn’t for him that morn­ing, those two gen­tle­men might not be here now,” said fam­ily friend Tammy Far­rell, who nom­i­nated Wagg for the award.

Far­rell said not only did Wagg show a brave act of courage, he also risked se­ri­ous phys­i­cal harm res­cu­ing the men as scorch­ing hot melt­ing paint was drip­ping from the ceil­ing.

She also said Wagg’s ac­tions most likely saved even more peo­ple, as the fire oc­curred in an area where the houses are sit­u­ated close to­gether.

Af­ter res­cu­ing the two men, Wagg got back in his car and drove to work, not real­iz­ing the full im­pact of what he did un­til later.

“It wasn’t un­til he got to work, I guess he re­al­ized, ‘Oh my God, what have I just done,’” Far­rell said.

A mod­est man by na­ture, Wagg has de­clined all me­dia in­ter­views, and hasn’t been keen to call him­self a hero.

“We’re very lucky he ac­cepted the award, ac­tu­ally,” said Far­rell.

Glenda Savoury, the house’s owner and Pa­trick Savoury’s mother, said she can’t thank Wagg enough for his brav­ery.

“I thank God ev­ery day that them two boys got out of it. It could have turned out worse,” she said.

Glenda said her son is ex­tremely thank­ful to Wagg, and he’s also ad­vo­cated to get Wagg the same award.

“He re­ally ap­pre­ci­ates it. He thinks (Wagg) should’ve got­ten more than that,” she said.

Al­though five years have passed since the fire and Savoury now works out west, Glenda said her son has never for­got­ten Wagg’s ac­tions.

“He was their guardian an­gel that morn­ing.”

“If it wasn’t for him that morn­ing, those two gen­tle­men might not be here now.” Tammy Far­rell

CON­TRIB­UTED

Bill Wagg and long­time friend Tammy Far­rell, who nom­i­nated him for the award.

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