Burnaby firefighter awarded Medal of Bravery for saving man from 2018 house fire

Capt. Wade Robertson, who’s been with the Burnaby Fire Department for 22 years, was responding to a blaze in the early morning of March 20, 2018 when he saw one of the residents run back into the house. 

Robertson battled through heavy smoke and flames to reach the man, according to the Ministry of Public Safety. He found the man and carried him to safety, suffering minor burns as a result. 

“Captain Robertson’s concern for the safety of this man, even at great risk to himself, is an example of what is best in the work our firefighters do,” said Jay Brownlee, acting B.C. fire commissioner. 

He’s one of only four people who have been awarded the British Columbia Firefighter Medal of Bravery in the last decade. 

“It’s truly an honour to be able to congratulate someone who so selflessly put himself in harm’s way to protect a life,” said Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth in a written statement.  

“Captain Robertson went above and beyond the normal call of duty, and he is an example of the best of what B.C.’s outstanding firefighters have to offer.”

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A Burnaby firefighter has been honoured with a rare provincial Medal of Bravery for saving a man’s life during a 2018 house fire.

Capt. Wade Robertson, a 22-year veteran of the Burnaby Fire Department, rescued the resident who had re-entered the home on Sumas Street as it burned around 1 a.m. on March 30, 2018.

“It was a hoarding house and he wanted all his stuff and he wanted to go back in and get it,” Robertson said Saturday.

Robertson saw the resident run back to the home and followed him without hesitation. Once inside, he battled through smoke and flames until he found the man.

“He was lying on the floor just inside the door with flames coming out over top of him,” Robertson said, adding he had to pry the resident’s hands from a railing to get him out to safety.

Robertson gave credit to the other crews who fought the fire that night, who managed to extinguish the blaze despite the number of items inside the home.

“I appreciate (the award), you know, it’s an honour,” he said. “But what it really came down to that night was the team that I was working with.”

The British Columbia Firefighter Medal of Bravery has only been awarded to three other firefighters over the past 10 years, according to the province.

“It’s truly an honour to be able to congratulate someone who so selflessly put himself in harm’s way to protect a life,” B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said in a statement.

“Captain Robertson went above and beyond the normal call of duty, and he is an example of the best of what B.C.’s outstanding firefighters have to offer.”

“Captain Robertson’s concern for the safety of this man, even at great risk to himself, is an example of what is best in the work our firefighters do,” Brownlee said.

“It’s more about the department than the individual,” he said. “You never know what you’re going to be called to.”

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