When I was a child, my mother, my sister, and I came home one afternoon to a smoke-filled house. We didn’t know if there was active fire at the time or not, but our entire house was filled with smoke. The firefighters arrived almost immediately and when my sobbing mother told them that we had 5 cats in there, they immediately dropped down and searched under beds and in closets until they rescued each and every one. It turned out our very old furnace was on the fritz and thankfully, there were no active flames, but the smoke was thick and sickening.
The engine company that saved our cats’ lives realized that they were part of our family and didn’t hesitate to rescue them. It’s something that fellow New Yorker Juan Diaz and his family know full well.
Yesterday morning while Diaz was making breakfast, he smelled smoke and quickly helped his wife and three young children, ages 4,6, and 8 exit the apartment. When he wanted to go back in to save his 6-month-old Chihuahua puppy, Hichi, he encountered a blanket of smoke so think, he couldn’t re-enter.
His children and wife were frantic, “They were screaming The dog! The dog!'” he said
The fire chief radioed firefighter Phil Grippo of Ladder 38 who was putting out stray flames in the walls and told him that a dog was still trapped inside (although the bulk of the blaze was out by this time).
Grippo searched until he found the little Hichi shaking in a closet and carried him out of the smoky building.
Now that’s what you call a hero.
Image: NY Daily News
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