CASPER, WY - A Casper family is grateful for a helpful bystander, after their neighbor kicked open the door of their house when it caught fire Thursday evening, saving their two pets.
Last night's accident happened around 8:30PM and luckily the renters weren't home.
However two small dogs are still shaking after being in a smoke-filled room for over five minutes.
"I stepped outside to have a cigarette and to let my dog out. I was doing a circle around my apartment complex because I was feeling restless sitting in my house. I walked by one time and the only thing that I saw out of the ordinary was that there was a bunch of smoke over by the house. I didn’t think anything of it at the time. Came back around and the entire porch is on fire," Rescuer Josh Utley.
Firefighters say although it's dangerous, it’s great to see people step up when others need help
"Seconds count for people. If you can make a calculated decision to help somebody, and not put yourself at risk, it's a good calculated risk," Casper Fire/EMS Officer Jason Parks.
And in a scenario like this one you have to be ready to think fast and know your limits.
"Milo, the big dog, was scared. He didn’t know what to think,” said Utley. “I was able to get him out. I remember they had a puppy. I tried to get upstairs to the puppy, because I thought it was kenneled, and I didn’t see him downstairs. Got to the stairs and realized there were flames billowing over my head and I couldn't do it."
Fires like this one can rage out of control in as little as five minutes.
"By the time I got to the back door you could no longer access the front door. By the time I came back around with the dog basically the entire house was on fire," said Utley.
Firefighters say it's not always the flames that can hurt you, but the smoke.
"That’s why we wear the safety equipment that we do. The self contained breathing apparatus and our turnout gears. The turn-out gear keeps us thermally safe from the fire. They will burn if it gets hot enough but the air packs that we wear its breathable air," said Parks.
Firefighters and EMS personnel are still concerned over health hazards after accidents like this one.
"Older homes, we call them legacy homes, older style furniture stuff like that, burns slower and doesn’t give off the nasty stuff that the newer fuels give off," said Parks.
Police do now know what caused the fire and the renters of the home have moved to another location because the infrastructure is unlivable at this time.
Fire officials say there have been more residential fires this summer compared to those prior.