Cats are sometimes said to have “nine lives”, due to their ability to always land on their feet. But the same can be said about a dog, who bravely escaped from a burning house by jumping out of a second-story window.
According to NBC Philadelphia, a man named Justin Steinmetz spotted a smoky house in Fleetwood, Berks County while driving to work. The house had no one inside—the adults were at work and the children were at school—and Justin was frantically trying to get help.
He asked another driver to call 911 and began trying to put out the fire with a hose, to no avail. Firefighters quickly arrived to battle the flames.
But the situation took a dramatic turn after the family’s dog, Charlie, appeared in the house’s second-story window, desperately trying to escape.
Firefighters persuaded Charlie to jump out the window, the only way to safety. In a dramatic moment captured on video by Justin, the dog takes a brave leap. While he had been charred by the fire, he came out alive.
“He had his mouth full of smoke, his lungs full of smoke, and he jumped for cover,” Justin told NBC. “He jumped when he had to, that’s what matters.”
The family’s other dog, and their two cats, were also found at the scene after they managed to escape from the house.
While it’s great that the pets survived, the owners, identified as the Stump family, “lost everything” in the fire. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help them get back on their feet after losing their home.
“We are very grateful that they are well, but we are painfully aware that their lives will be significantly affected by the devastating fire at their home today,” the site reads. The page raised $40,000 for the family.
But Justin, who runs a farm and says he will loan baby goats to the family for “goat therapy”, says the survival of the pets is a major benefit.
“I feel blessed that the animals came out alive, that’s the big thing,” he told NBC.
What a dramatic escape from this burning house! We are so happy that Charlie is safe now and send this family our thoughts and prayers as they recover from this devastating fire.