Fire Chief Didn't Hesitate Sending Son In Burning Home

DAUPHIN, Man. (CP) -- The chief of a volunteer fire department said he didn't think twice about asking his son to rush into a burning building to save the life of a man inside.

David Seeley called on his son Tim, 36, and fellow firefighter Greg Acevedo, 39, to make the rescue Friday when they learned a man might be trapped on the second floor of the burning rooming house in Dauphin.

''I've got all the confidence in the world in the boys,'' Seeley said. ''They've trained well. If I didn't feel confident, I wouldn't have asked them to go.''

The fire broke out shortly after 7 a.m. Smoke and fire were already spewing from a second-storey window on the south side of the home when firefighters arrived.

Seeley said the fire started during a party, and there'd been about eight people inside the five-apartment rooming house at the time. Most had made it out of the building, but those standing outside told the firefighters there was still a man trapped on the second floor.

Tim Seeley, equipped with a breathing apparatus, went in first. By the time he got upstairs, he couldn't see anything through the smoke. He then crawled on his hands and knees through the cloud and heat until his hands fell on the disoriented 21-year-old man lying in the hallway.

''He was minutes from death,'' said Tim, who figured the man only managed to survive to that point because his head was below the heat and fumes. ''He said, 'My eyes are burning and I can't breathe.'''

The firefighter managed to drag the panicking man to the stairs, where Acevedo helped carry him outside. Paramedics then took the man to hospital. The patient was treated for smoke inhalation and released a short time later.

The fire chief blames careless smoking for the blaze.

The pair said hero isn't a word they use to describe themselves even though the men, both fathers of young children, had to brave smoke and flames to make the rescue.

''I've grown up with this, this is a culture that is instilled,'' said Seeley, a self-employed contractor who has a two-year-old son. ''We're just trained to do a job and we do it.''