‘Their guardian angel’
Rose Blanche man recognized for saving two men from burning house
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
Bill Wagg and longtime friend Tammy Farrell, who nominated him for the award.