Any true dog lover knows that our four-legged companions are just as much a part of our family as the people in it. And being family means you’d do just about anything for each other.
This is why when one man realized his dog was trapped inside a burning home, he ignored firefighters’ warnings and ran back inside to rescue the pup.
Last week, Jose Guzman’s home caught fire in San Diego, California.
Jose was attending a barbeque at his parents’ house with his fiancée Adriana Lopez and their three girls, Yetzel, 6, Hazel, 4, and Yvette, 2, when he received news of the fire.
“I didn’t think it was mine because we had just left the house about an hour ago, but I decided to get in my truck and drive over there,” Jose said.
When he arrived at the fire, Jose realized his family dog Gabanna was still inside the burning home and despite firefighters’ warnings, he ran back inside to rescue her.
“I knew something could’ve happened to me or both of us, but it didn’t go through my mind at the time,” Jose told People Magazine. “I wasn’t gonna let her die like that.”
In the video, Jose can be seen sprinting into the flame-engulfed home while firefighters beg him to stop.
The moment was captured by Jose’s landlord’s son-in-law, Adam Guzman who said the entire scene was very emotional and no one was sure if Jose would make it out alive.
“I thought he’s a goner. The flames were hot and I couldn’t imagine running through those flames. That was it, that was the last time I’d see him,” he told People Magazine. “When he came running out with the dog, it was a big relief that he was alive and brought out the dog at the same time.”
Minutes later, Jose emerges from the home with Gabanna in tow.
Jose said he found his pet curled up around the toilet in the bathroom—the only room that wasn’t on fire.
“I ran through the curtain of fire and made my way through the smoke to the back of the house, where I had her chained up,” he said. “It was hard for me to get her leash unhooked, but I managed to get her loose and we both ran out towards the driveway.”
Jose experienced second-degree burns to his face, right side, arm, and left ear, but says they are healing well.
Gabanna also had burns on her nose and paw but is expected to make a full recovery. Meanwhile, the home and all of the family’s possessions were destroyed.
Jose said Gabanna has become part of his family and he would do anything for her.
“I knew something could’ve happened to me or both of us, but it didn’t go through my mind at the time. That dog is part of my family. She’s been with us through downs and ups and I couldn’t leave her there. I would do it again if I had to; I would do it for anybody in my family,” Jose said.
Jose’s fiancée and sister said his actions are not uncharacteristic of the kind of man he is.
“He’s that person that would do that for anybody,” Adriana told People Magazine. “He’s a loving dad, a loving son, a loving brother.”
“This is not out of character for him, this is something that he would do. He’s always been very spontaneous and very caring, and he would give his life for anyone,” sister Roxana added.
And dog lovers everywhere are praising Jose’s heroism.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help the Guzman family recover from the fire and donations can be made here.
h/t Still Unfold