The Watertown Fire Department awarded a resident for his quick action and bravery which prevented another resident from being harmed in a fire in April.
On April 13, Teflon Donovan was sleeping in his home on Swetts Court when he awoke to the smell of smoke and the sound of a smoke alarm. He got up to investigate where the smoke was coming from.
Donovan thought it was from the stove, but when it checked he found that was not the source. Then he checked the basement door and a giant plume of smoke came out, so he slammed the door shut, said Watertown Fire Capt. Eric Allen.
“He went upstairs and got his buddy on the third floor,” Allen said.
The pair ran outside and then called 911 when they were out of harm’s way. The Fire Department found that the fire started in a clothes dryer which had been running, and lint had clogged the ventilation tube in the back of the machine, Allen said.
For his bravery, Donovan was presented the Medal of Commendation, an award we give to non-Fire Department members, said Watertown Fire Chief Bob Quinn.
“We believe Teflon’s actions saved his friend’s life and saved the property from further damage,” the statement recommending him for the Medal said.
On Wednesday, Donovan came down to the Watertown Fire Station on Main Street to receive the award — a certificate and a medal and pin.
“We are lucky to have you in our community,” Quinn told Donovan during the presentation.
Dovovan thanked the Watertown Firefighters, and said he dedicated it to a friend, Alan Nkoba of Watertown, who had just passed away.
“He died on Sunday. The previous week I talked to him and told him how I won the award,” said Donovan, who said that his friend helped him get through a bad time in his life. “He said, ‘I am so proud of you.’ It makes it much more meaningful.”
Holding the medal, Dononvan said he would be putting it on Nkoba’s grave.
Donovan moved to Watertown about a year ago and said he has felt very welcome. He has had good interactions with both the Watertown Fire and Police Departments. He recalled how he was pulled over by Watertown Police Chief Michael Lawn because his registration was expired. During the interaction, Chief told Donovan would not be arrested, but told Donovan he needed to sort out his situation and renew his registration.