Last August the News reported on a fire at the Blue Willow Motel with the alarm being raised by four comedians, Ben Bauce, Kelly Taylor, Dustin Williamson, Dylan Williamson.
Today they will receive the Bronze Medal for Bravery from the Lieutenant Governor Russ Mirasty who is presenting Royal Canadian Humane Association Bravery Awards at Saskatoon’s police HQ.
The four were driving home from a comedy gig in another town and on their way home passed the Blue Willow just north of Wadena and spotted a fire at at the building entrance. Dylan and Ben were in the front seat and saw the fire. They realized that since there was no activity around the motel, the residents needed to be warned. The fire appeared to have started near an electrical box on a post that supported an overhang attached to the motel. While they turned their car around to stop, the fire quickly spread up the post, burning the wood awning over the office. All four men ran to the motel yelling and banging on windows to warn the residents of the fire. While Ben and Dustin ran inside to find the owner and a fire extinguisher, Kelly and Dylan looked for an outside tap. They could not find it in the dark and by then the fire was raging. Once the owner was found it took a while to communicate what was happening due to a language barrier. They tried to pull down the burning awning, but it was burning too quickly to handle. The men were filling anything that could hold water from the kitchen tap. They tried filling water jugs in the laundry room, but water pressure was low and the jugs had to be brought outside using a “bucket brigade” system. When the owner found the fire extinguisher, they managed to put out most of the fire, however, it re-started when the extinguisher became empty so they went back to using the “bucket brigade.” They had managed to completely douse the fire when fire fighters, police and EMS arrived. The four rescuers suffered minor cuts and smoke inhalation.
The Royal Canadian Humane Association was established in 1894. The organization recognizes deeds of heroism by Canadians, who, through their alertness, skill and concern, save or attempt to save a life, especially where those actions lie outside the ordinary duties of the person involved.