In chance Las Vegas encounter, man meets firefighter who saved his life in Cleveland 22 years ago

In chance Las Vegas encounter, man meets firefighter who saved his life in Cleveland 22 years ago

LAS VEGAS - What started as a night out at a wine tasting on the Las Vegas Strip ended with an unexpected reunion.

A man reconnected with the firefighter who saved his life in Mayfield Village, 22 years ago.

"I don't think we would've lived another three to four minutes," said DePaul.

It's a day in his life that Dr. Richard DePaul tries not to think about.

"It was about nine days later, I woke up not knowing what happened," said DePaul.

He has shared the story countless times over the last 22 years.

"My wife never made it upstairs to the bedroom. She was laying on the family room floor. She was visible through the window," said DePaul.

It was the day a firefighter broke a window in his Cleveland home to save his whole family from carbon monoxide poisoning.

"He's a hero. Absolute hero in my eyes," said DePaul.

A hero he never got to thank.

DePaul eventually moved to Las Vegas and they never saw each other again.

That all changed on Thursday night.

The two happened to be at the same wine tasting event at Hooters Casino when they realized they were both from Cleveland.

DePaul finally met Rob Saracene, the firefighter who saved his family 22 years ago.

"He said, 'Where did you live?' I said, 'Mayfield Village.' He said, 'So did I,'" recalled DePaul.

"He says, 'Well, I'm the house with the nice drawbridge.' I said, 'The single story right?' I said, 'You didn't happen to be a dentist, do you?'" said Saracene.

"He said, 'I know you.' I said, 'How do you know me?'" said DePaul.

"I said, 'Your family had a carbon monoxide incident, I was just a few days out of paramedic school,'" recalled Saracene.

"I was speechless. I just let him talk," said DePaul. "Chills went down my spine. I could not believe what I was hearing. My eyes welled up with tears. I owe this man my very life and I'm meeting him poolside at Hooters! I mean let's put some odds on that. This is a betting city."

It turns out that Saracene is now a firefighter with Las Vegas Fire & Rescue.

"Just the phrase small world comes up. It's amazing!" said Saracene.

The two are now spending some time catching up on lost time.

"It's totally unbelievable. Serendipitous. One in a zillion. If I were an oddsmaker, one in a zillion," said DePaul.
Proving it's never too late to reconnect with someone.

"Say that again. Of course not. Of course not," said DePaul.

This is the beginning of this friendship.

DePaul and Saracene hope to have dinner together in the near future.

KSNV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment