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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Firefighters Save Man and Dog Trapped on Third Floor of Burning Apartment with No Way Out

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Early Tuesday morning, a woman in North Austin, Texas, was startled by the sound of shouting coming from a nearby apartment complex.

A quick peek outside revealed the cause: The apartment complex was on fire.

“I heard a gentleman screaming very loudly so I peeked out my window and looked right across the way and I could see the blaze of flames, so then I ran outside,” Jessica Deleon told KTBC-TV.

Between the smoke alarms and people being alerted to the danger, most of the residents were able to escape without an issue — except for one man and his dog, who were trapped on the third floor with no way out.

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When Travis County firefighters arrived on the scene, the flames were already engulfing the third floor and shooting through the roof of the building.

“He had his head outside the window with smoke coming out and he was audibly screaming, ‘Help me,'” Travis County Fire Chief Nick Perkins recalled.

“[Emergency Services District No. 2] Firefighters and Round Rock Fire Department responded to a fire at a three story apartment early this morning,” the Pflugerville Fire Department Facebook page shared on Tuesday.

“Upon arrival crews found heavy fire coming from the third floor and roof. There was an occupant trapped along with his dog at the fire.

“ESD2 firefighters rescued the occupant and his dog over a ladder from a third floor window. The occupant was evaluated and refused ambulance transport. The fire was brought under control by the crews and ladder trucks onscene.”

The fire ended up damaging 24 units and leaving 12 without power. An investigation into the cause of the blaze is ongoing.

While the complex sustained damage, it was a blessing that no lives were lost and no injuries were reported.

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“It’s a great relief. I knew someone was in trouble … so that was terrifying, and I’m so glad that they rescued him,” Deleon said.

“We are happy to report there were no casualties from the fire that took place at the Churchill Crossing Apartments last night,” Perkins added. “With the quick actions of firefighters, help from law enforcement, we successfully evacuated all tenants and their four-legged friends quickly from the building.”

“Have you ever thought, ‘How would I get out of my apartment or my house in the event that it caught on fire?'” Perkins asked. “And you really want two ways out. So in this instance, the way that this gentleman would usually exit his apartment or his bedroom was not an option.”

The Pflugerville Fire Department also noted that the man had a working smoke alarm, which increased his response time and the likelihood of survival.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking