One two occasions, Firefighter Potter played a key role in rescuing babies from their burning homes. The first event occurred November 1st, 1978, when his crew responded to a house fire. They were the second crew to arrive and were told that an eight-year-old boy may still be in the house. Firefighter Potter followed the first engine’s hose line up the stairs and told the crew about the boy. He then went into a bedroom and, knowing not to completely rely on what you’re told, did a very thorough search. This search included a crib where he found a small baby. He brought eight-month-old Jennifer to another firefighter on an awaiting ladder. Firefighter Potter then went back to continue searching for the missing boy. While doing his search, he found a second crib, which also had a baby in it. He brought six-month-old Heather to the safety of the ladder as well. The missing boy was safe, having been found later at a neighbor’s.
Two years later, just before noon on Christmas Eve of 1980, Firefighter Potter’s engine company responded to a house fire. They encountered a man and a young girl outside. There was smoke coming from the eves of the house, and he was told that a baby was in a crib upstairs. Neighbors had already tried to rescue the baby but were quickly pushed out by the heat and smoke. Potter and his partner pulled a hose line up the stairs to the landing below the second floor where they encountered heavy smoke. Just as he was about to get his air mask on, he heard the baby’s cries from somewhere upstairs. Knowing that time was quickly running out, he left his hose line, did not put on his mask, and followed the baby’s cries through the blinding smoke. He found five-month-old Dominique, then carried her downstairs and outside. She was taken by ambulance to a local hospital where she recovered fully from her injuries.
A 28-year veteran of law enforcement, having served his last 17 years in Bayfield County, Corporal Parquette received his final call on Tuesday, September 10, 1996.
Corporal Parquette received a call for “vandalism.” He immediately drove to the scene of the complaint, and was led up a set of stairs by an unknowing girl. On his way up the stairs, Corporal Parquette was shot 30 times. His murderer then went back into his apartment and killed himself. No motive was ever discovered for this brutal act. Corporal Parquette left behind a widow, Ms. R.L. Parquette, two daughters, Tracey Brewer and Terri Smith, and a stepson, Steven Prevost.
While there were no witnesses to the shooting, many believe he gave his life protecting the young girl, whom was not physically injured in the attack. His fellow officers all agreed that he would have repeated his actions, even if he knew the outcome.