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Elderly man with dementia is rescued from a fire at his home by a relative who forgot her purse


Elderly man with dementia is rescued from a fire at his home after failing to realize the living room was alight until a relative who forgot her purse during his 88th birthday party came back and found him

  • Home security footage taken Saturday shows as Lawrence Peters, a former Denver police sergeant, sits and watches as the fire engulfs his Colorado home
  • He is only saved when his family member comes back into the room 
  • Peters’ grandson Aaron said if it were not for his aunt discovering the fire they ‘wouldn’t have been able to get in here’ just 30 seconds later
  • Footage shows as Peters is led to safety by his loved ones as the flames spread

An elderly man with dementia had to be rescued by a relative from a fire at his Colorado home after not realizing his 88th birthday candles had set the room alight. 

Home security footage taken Saturday shows as Lawrence Peters, a former Denver police sergeant, sits and watches as the flames engulf the curtains. He is only saved when his family member comes back into the room after forgetting her purse there. 

Peters’ grandson Aaron Richardville told KALB: ‘It just did not register for him. He did not realize the danger, and that is just the way that dementia works.’

Aaron said if it were not for his aunt discovering the fire they ‘wouldn’t have been able to get in here’  just 30 seconds later. The room was destroyed in two minutes.

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Home security footage taken Saturday shows as Lawrence Peters, a former Denver police sergeant, sits and watches as the fire engulfs his Colorado home

Home security footage taken Saturday shows as Lawrence Peters, a former Denver police sergeant, sits and watches as the fire engulfs his Colorado home

Home security footage taken Saturday shows as Lawrence Peters, a former Denver police sergeant, sits and watches as the flames engulf the curtains

Home security footage taken Saturday shows as Lawrence Peters, a former Denver police sergeant, sits and watches as the flames engulf the curtains

He is only saved when a relative comes back into the room after forgetting her purse there

He is only saved when a relative comes back into the room after forgetting her purse there

Footage shows as Peters sits eating and drinking as the curtain blows over the candle on nearby sidetable. 

As smoke begins to rise Peters appears unaware of the growing fire. Other family members can be heard chatting in a nearby room. 

Even as flames become visible at the top of the curtains Peters does not react, instead watching the fire as it grows. 

Lawrence Peters

Aaron Richardville with his wife Bree. Aaron said if it were not for his aunt discovering the fire they 'wouldn't have been able to get in here' just 30 seconds later

Peters’ grandson Aaron Richardville, right with his wife Bree, said if it were not for his aunt discovering the fire they ‘wouldn’t have been able to get in here’ just 30 seconds later

The room was destroyed in two minutes. Pictures show the devastation after the fire

The room was destroyed in two minutes. Pictures show the devastation after the fire 

Aaron says he 'will never light another candle in my house again'

Aaron says he ‘will never light another candle in my house again’

A family member then comes into the room screaming, leading Peters to safety while calling on her relatives to call 911.  

No was injured in the blaze but Aaron added: ‘It was the most frightening thing I have ever been through. The flames just started pouring out of the top, and it went so fast before there was anything we could even do about it.

‘People are the only things that are important, the possessions, everything that we have here can be replaced.

‘I will never light another candle in my house again.’ 

No was injured in the blaze but large parts of the home was destroyed. Aaron added: 'People are the only things that are important, the possessions, everything that we have here can be replaced'

No was injured in the blaze but large parts of the home was destroyed. Aaron added: ‘People are the only things that are important, the possessions, everything that we have here can be replaced’

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