A modest hero

Eddie Dagg had just pulled out of his driveway when he saw sparks coming from a camper trailer in a neighbour’s yard. Then he realized the trailer was burning. - Dan Ferguson/Langley Times
Eddie Dagg had just pulled out of his driveway when he saw sparks coming from a camper trailer in a neighbour’s yard. Then he realized the trailer was burning.
— image credit: Dan Ferguson/Langley Times

Eddie Dagg pulled out of his driveway at 4:47 a.m. on Sunday, July 17 and started heading for work.

The married father of three was less than a block away from his house in the 4500 block of 207A Street when he noticed sparks coming from a camper trailer in a neighbour’s front yard.

“Who the hell is welding first thing in the morning?” he wondered.

Then he rolled down the window of his van for a better look and saw foot-high flames surrounding the trailer propane tanks.

He could also see a second trailer next door had just started burning, too, though not as severely.

Dagg jumped out of the van and started pounding on the door and ringing the doorbell of the house where the trailer fire was more advanced.

There was no response.

After a few seconds, he caught a flicker of a red light through a window that he recognized as a motion sensor alarm similar to the one in his own house.

That meant no one was home.

Dagg ran to the second house and pounded on the door.

He was heading for a third house near the fire when a male occupant of the second house came outside to investigate the noise.

Dagg shouted a warning.

“Get away from there,” he yelled.

The family in the house quickly complied.

Dawn Ritchot, who grabbed her eight-year-old son and pulled her truck away from the fire, called Dagg a “hero among us” for running by the potentially explosive propane tanks to prevent a tragedy.

So did her oldest son, 20-year-old Curtis Ritchot.

“I was that close to burying my parents and because of Eddie, I don’t have to,” he said.

Dagg is also credited with trying to put the propane tank fires out before emergency crews arrived.

He said he only did what he hopes any of his neighbours  would do.

“I think anybody else with common sense would do the same thing.”

Langley City firefighters discovered a third RV had been torched not far away, but only minor damage was reported.

The trailer in front of the unoccupied house, which had at least one completely full propane tank, was destroyed by the fire.

A Ford pickup truck parked next to the trailer was also a complete write-off.

The upper front exterior vinyl siding of the house was melted off.

Crews from Langley City and Langley Township got the fires under control.

No injuries were reported, but property damage was estimated around $50,000.

Police are asking anyone with information that might assist in identifying the person or persons responsible to call the Langley RCMP at 604-532-3200.

If you need to remain anonymous, call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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