A team of downtown Vancouver firefighters was on the scene of an MVA last weekend, when they spotted a Hollywood bad guy-turned-real life hero watching from the sidelines.
Ron Ewert, Sean Ward, Lee Campbell and another colleague from Firehall 7A on Haro Street were attending to a two-vehicle crash on Burrard Street on Aug. 17, when they noticed the familiar face of Danny Trejo.
The actor, who was in Vancouver filming a new project, was taking pictures from the side of the road.
“He just yelled out to us while we were kind of controlling the scene,” said Campbell. “I had to do a double take myself … I didn’t recognize him at first.”
The L.A.-born tough guy is famous for starting his life out as a criminal, serving time for armed robbery and drug offences, before turning his life around in prison and embarking on a successful movie career.
Now 75, Trejo is best known for playing villains in hundreds of films and TV shows, including From Dusk till Dawn and Breaking Bad, before taking a turn as an anti-hero in the Machete series of films.
“Quite frankly, he looked like one of his characters in the movies,” said Ewert. “Just a hat on, big chain, the way he normally would, his character would dress.”
Ward joked he jumped behind a car upon spotting the henchman from one of his favourite movies, Heat.
WATCH: (Aug. 8) Actor Danny Trejo saves baby trapped in overturned vehicle
“Once I saw him on the sidewalk, I immediately thought Val Kilmer and Robert De Niro were going to be running down the street after robbing a bank or something,” Ward laughed. “I thought we were going to get caught in the crossfire.”
Instead, the firefighters invited the actor over for some photos.
“I was surprised to see how nice he was,” Ward said. “He’s always playing a bad guy on TV but very friendly.”
It wasn’t that surprising to see Trejo near a car crash scene, as he had recently become a real-life hero at one in his hometown.
On Aug. 7, the actor used his stunt skills to help rescue a baby from an overturned car, which had been flipped over by another vehicle that ran a red light.
Trejo told NBC News that a female witness crawled through the window to undo the seatbelt, allowing him to remove the baby from the car.
“I told him I was a big fan and … gave him some praise for the work that he did there in L.A.,” said Campbell. “I thought that was huge of the guy to do that.”
Vancouver Fire Chief Darrell Reid later tweeted a photo of his crew meeting Trejo, saying that the fire hall is recruiting him.
“We should have recruited him for Vancouver Fire and Rescue,” said Ewert. “But unfortunately, he doesn’t quite make the age requirement.”