Saco Mayor Marston Lovell, left, presents resident Dan Varle, center, with a certificate of recognition on Monday night. Standing to the left of Varle is Lynn Underwood and to his right Fire Chief John Duross and Deputy Fire Chief David Pendleton. LIZ GOTTHELF/Journal Tribune

SACO — An ordinary citizen was acknowledged Monday night for an extraordinary act.

Saco resident Dan Varle was driving down Flag Pond Road on the morning of Dec. 11, when he noticed smoke and fire coming from a mobile home.

“He immediately pulled his vehicle into the driveway of the home and called 911, but his actions did not stop there,” Saco Fire Chief John Duross said. “Mr. Varle got out of his vehicle, ran towards the burning home, calling loudly to alert any occupants.”

It was about 7:45 a.m, and Varle’s actions woke Lynn Underwood, who was inside the home asleep.

Smoke filled the home as Underwood got up to leave, and as she reached the doorway she saw Varle, who helped her to safety. Varle assisted Underwood to her car so she could have warmth and shelter while waiting for first responders.

“There was significant smoke and fire damage to the home, but had it not been for the quick actions on the part of Mr. Varle, the outcome could have been much worse,” said Duross.

Varle received a challenge coin from the fire department and was presented with a plaque from Mayor Marston Lovell commending him for his “display of bravery and quick thinking.”

“He’s my angel,” said Underwood, tears in her eyes as she hugged Varle, who quietly accepted the award.

Prior to Monday night’s ceremony, Varle declined to comment on the incident but did say that he was glad that Underwood was alright.

 Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 780-9015 or [email protected].

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