Almost everyone would agree that a dog would give its life for their human parent. But the opposite is also true. When Jose’s house was ravaged by fire, he risked his life to save his best fur friend.
House fire: family home engulfed in flames
A few weeks ago in early March, Jose Guzman and his family were enjoying a quiet, evening meal with his parents in Pala, San Diego. Partway through the dinner, Jose received a phone call from his neighbour to alert him to an out of control fire burning alongside his home.
Racing back to the house, Jose saw that firefighters were already on the scene. The flames, which began on a neighbour’s property, had engulfed two homes. Unfortunately, one of these was the Guzman’s family home.
Family dog rescued from fire
Jose, his wife, three daughters and their female pit bull terrier, Gabbana had only recently moved into the house. With all their possessions, including Gabbana still at the house, Jose knew their beloved family dog needed rescuing - if time was still on her side.
Without even thinking about the risks to his own life, Jose made the decision few would do - he raced past the firefighters and into the flames to find Gabbana.
“I was not scared, I was not thinking about it, I was just thinking about getting her,” Jose told ABC6.
By then, the flames had made their way to Gabbana’s wooden house out the back where she’d been tied up. Fumbling his way through the smoke, Jose realised the dog’s house had been burnt to the ground.
“I couldn’t see nothing. I came past this point… I saw her leash stretched out.”
The heat of the flames had burnt through Gabbana’s leash and as a result, she had managed to escape the encroaching flames. Running to the only spot she could, Gabbana took shelter in the home’s bathroom - the only part of the house that hadn’t yet burnt down.
A heroic act caught on film
Meanwhile, firefighters and local residents who witnessed Jose running into the flames were becoming increasingly worried about him.
The whole episode was being filmed by a bystander from the opposite side of the road, who could feel the intensity of the heat. Not knowing if Jose would reappear or not, at long last, you can see in the video a dashing four-legged Gabbana and Jose appear out of the smoke and flames. Above all, they both came out with only slight burns to their bodies (what a relief!).
Needless to say, the video has become a viral sensation on the internet with many praising the man for his heroic actions (despite the obvious concerns for his safety).
From tragedy to a united family and community!
The fire destroyed practically all of the Guzman family’s possessions, including their two cars, as well as the tools Jose used to carry out his construction and landscaping jobs. However, Jose is grateful his family were spared, including their beloved Gabbana.
"We've had her since she was not even old enough to leave her mom yet. And she's been with us ever since," Guzman said.
"She's part of the family. We love her."
Touched by the story, the local Pala community has set up a GoFundMe page to help the family while they lick their wounds and find their feet and paws once again.
Image for illustration purposes only.