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UPS delivery driver warns Longview resident about fire, gets him, dog out

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 4:11 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - A doorbell camera captured video of a quick-thinking UPS delivery driver running across the street to a neighbor’s house to warn its occupant that his home was on fire. UPS driver Daniel Carmical said he was not on his traditional route.

“I’m in Liberty City now. I haven’t been over there in a year and a half, and it was a small amount of deliveries I had just in that one strip of Pine Tree Road. There was no point in me being over there,” he said. “I believe it was God’s will that had me over there on Monday afternoon. I’m glad I could help them.”

Carmical said he could smell smoke when he got out of his truck but thought maybe someone was burning something until “the neighbor started yelling that their house was on fire and pointed across the street.”

“You could see flames starting to come out of the wind turbines and kind of around the side of the house,” he said.

After a quick conversation with the neighbor and seeing resident Ben Slater’s truck in the carport, Carmical jumped into action.

“I don’t know if it was a little bit of adrenaline and God’s will, but I ran towards the door. I tried to open it, but it was locked,” Carmical said. “I banged on the door; no one came to the door. I looked in the window, and all the lights were off, so I assumed he was sleeping. I just knew I had to kick in the door.”

That’s when Slater, who was in a back bedroom at the time, heard the commotion and got up.

“He yelled through the back, ‘Is anybody in here?’ I said, ‘Yes there is.’ He said, ‘Your house is on fire.’ So I came out. Of course, the neighbor across the street says, ‘Where’s the dog, your truck?’” Slater said. “Because the fire was actually coming through the carport. We got the dog into the truck, backed up, parked right there.”

Slater said it was an electrical fire that started in the back porch laundry room, a separate ceiling than the part of the house he was in, so he had no idea it started. Slater says Carmical’s actions “Probably saved the entire house from burning down. Him seeing the fire and taking action in the first place and bringing notice to it, I mean we probably would’ve lost everything.”

Carmical also gives credit to the Longview Fire Department and first responders who got to the scene so quickly.

“They literally do this every single day - run into burning homes. And our police officers, our military. As humans, we’re supposed to avoid danger and get away from it, and these guys literally run towards it every day,” Carmical said. “It’s given me a lot more of an appreciation for all of our first responders and what they do on a daily basis. They definitely deserve the credit. I’m glad I could help out for one afternoon.”

According to fire officials, the fire started in the home’s laundry room and spread up into the upper part of the house. The fire damaged the home’s attic and several rooms, but the homeowner said it could have been much worse if the UPS driver hadn’t warned him about the fire.

The Slaters told KLTV News a few hours later Carmical stopped by to deliver them their package of food that he wasn’t able to earlier.

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