Council, OCFA honor two Seal Beach heroes

Agencies honor two men who stepped up when a neighbor’s home was on fire

Pictured above is Willie Boudevin with his plaque from the city of Seal Beach, marking his role in helping a Leisure World resident whose home caught fire. A photo of Jeong Kim, who went into the burning building, was not available at editorial deadline. Photo taken from Feb. 28 City Council agenda.

The council recognized two Seal Beach heroes this week. The Orange County Fire Authority has given them their highest and second highest civilian honors.

OCFA Division Chief Ron Roberts gave the presentation to the Monday, Feb. 28, council meeting.

“I am pleased to present to you tonight, two Seal Beach residents who took lifesaving action during a recent residential structure fire in the Leisure World Community,” Roberts said.

The men were Jeong Kim and Willie Boudevin. A translator repeated Roberts’ words for Kim at intervals during the presentation.

“On Jan. 14th, 2022, at approximately 1:38 p.m., Mr. Willie Boudevin and Mr. Jeong Kim were alerted to an issue in their immediate area,” Roberts said.

Both men made their way to a neighbor’s home, according to Roberts. They saw smoke coming from the windows and they could see flames inside, according to Roberts.

“Without regard for their own safety, Misters Kim and Boudevin  sprang into action,” Roberts said.

“Mr. Kim enter the residence that was on fire, to physically assist and rescue his neighbor from a now growing interior fire,” Roberts said.

“Mr. Boudevin remained outside and quickly located an outside garden hose, which he used to control the fire through a nearby window,” Roberts said. “And thus aiding in the protection of the rescue attempt.”

“Without the quick and selfless actions of both men, this fire could have been much more damaging as well as potentially causing bodily injury or worse yet a fire fatality,” Roberts said.

“Both gentlemen are being recognized and awarded by both the city of Seal Beach and the Orange County Fire Authority,” Roberts said.

For his life saving actions, Mr. Jeong Kim has been awarded the OCFA’s Chief Award, which is the highest honor our agency awards to a civilian honoree,” Roberts said.

“For his quick-thinking actions for holding a building fire in check  that protected the rescue and the residence, resident, excuse me, Mr. Boudevin is being awarded the OCFA’s Certificate of Merit, which is the second highest honor our agency awards to civilians,” Roberts said.

“It is my honor tonight to present to you all Mr. Jeong Kim and Mr. Boudevin,” Roberts said.

District One Councilman/Mayor Joe Kalmick formally thanked both men on behalf of Seal Beach.

“If it weren’t for your heroic efforts, the outcome would have been far more devastating for Mr. Dana Ingram and the surrounding units,” said Kalmick, a former volunteer firefighter.

He thanked them for their dedication and service to our country.

The translator, speaking on behalf of Kim, said: “Mr. Kim would like to say he is honored, truly honored, today to receive this certificate and that he would have done the same thing to every other resident.”

Kalmick asked Boudevin if he would like to make some comments.

“It was our duty to basically help out here and take care of things before the others got here and if the neighborhood needs anything else from Mr. Kim and I, we’re available,” Boudevin said.

Kalmick said: “Well, I hope we won’t need your services so soon, but thank you so much for everything you gentlemen did.”