Waukesha snowplow hero saves garage from going up in flames

WAUKESHA, Wis. - A garage on fire – and the flames were put out by a man who normally works in the cold. On Tuesday, Feb. 6, Waukesha honored a snowplow hero.

It is never a quiet day when Amy Quakkelaar is watching her grandkids. But on Friday, Jan. 19, it was downright chaotic.

"We were just sitting. And then the smoke alarm in the kitchen went off," Quakkelaar said.

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Quakkelaar said her husband had just finished using their snowblower. He put it in the garage and went to the store. Quakkelaar's garage filled with smoke.

"I went outside and saw the flames. They were as big as me," Quakkelaar said.

<div>Amy Quakkelaar</div>
Amy Quakkelaar

It was not until she watched her Ring doorbell camera hours later that she realized who put out out the fire.

"This guy is just like, super calm. Comes right up and he was gone," Quakkelaar said.

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City of Waukesha Public Works employee Mason Damaske was out plowing cul-de-sacs when he saw the flames.

"I just jumped out, grabbed the fire extinguisher and went to the garage to see what I could do," Damaske said.

When the flames popped back up, Damaske leaned into his winter weather skills.

<div>Mason Damaske holds proclamation</div>
Mason Damaske holds proclamation

"I found a little bucket on the ground and threw snow on the garage because it kept going," Damaske said.

Fire officials believe the snowblower was hot when it was put in the garage. That caused car seats and wagons around it to catch fire.

Damaske left before Quakkelaar could say thank you.

On Tuesday, Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly issued a proclamation recognizing Damaske's brave efforts.

"I just did what I thought anybody would have done," Damaske said.

Quakkelaar is now selling baked goods and plans to give all the money she makes to Damaske. So far, she has raised about $500.