Dons of deceased WCH student honoured

On Monday evening during the Waterloo city council meeting, two Laurier students and two dons were recognized for their brave efforts during the Waterloo College Hall residence fire on April 14, 2009.

Waterloo fire chief Larry Brassard, who presented the awards, stated that the students acted with cool heads and decisiveness.

“They had the wits to activate the fire alarms and they closed the door to the apartment, thus containing the fire. This act saved many lives.”

The four students were each presented with a certificate of recognition from the city and a Waterloo Fire Rescue award.

Patrick O’Sullivan was a student on the fourth floor where the fire started; he was also good friends with the victim, Dave Laforest.

“I was the last person to see him alive before the fire,” said O’Sullivan.

“It’s hard to receive an award for
what was probably the worst day of my
life.”

Paige Hyatt, a student living in WCH, noticed Laforest being taken out of the residence after the fire and called O’Sullivan.

Matt Crombeen, a don on the third floor, and Dave’s don Kyle Walker were the other two recipients of the award.

“Kyle and I were the ones that helped Dave out of the room. We brought him outside and waited for EMS.

“Being dons we were kind of in charge of making sure everyone got out of the building,” said Crombeen.

About receiving the award, he added “[I]t’s not something we do to be honoured for, but it’s nice to be recognized. It’s something that is going to be with me for the rest of my life.”

Walker occupied the room that was adjacent to the victim.

“It’s nice to recognize the residence life program we have here and the training they provide,” said Walker.

“I couldn’t imagine going through a situation like that without the training.…

“[I]t’s not just recognizing myself but the program here at Laurier and all the hard work that goes into it.”

Investigation complete

According to Olaf Heinzel, public affairs co-ordinator for the Waterloo Regional Police Service, the investigation into the fire that occurred on April 14, 2009 in Waterloo College Hall residence is now complete. Evidence collected brought officers to the conclusion that it was no longer a criminal investigation, as there were no outside suspects. The cause of the fire has been determined to be “incidental to the actions of the victim.”

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