Every so often, when tragedy strikes, a person steps up to meet the challenge and becomes a true hero. That happened this week in Springfield Tennessee when Tim Tawater, on his way home from work, noticed smoke billowing from a nearby home.
Rather than mind his own business or call the fire department, Tim drove to the source of the smoke, ran into the house, and saved the family’s dog just seconds before the roof collapsed.
A 20-year veteran of the Nashville Fire Department, Tawater was no stranger to the heat. “I went by there concerned someone was in the house,” Tawater told reporters. “I went in. I did a check. Nobody was there.”
The Gourley’s – whose home it was – happened to be on vacation at the time, so there were no people in the house at the time of the fire. But then Tawater and some others watching the flames heard barking coming from inside. Without a second thought, Tawater was rushing back into the fray to save the stranded dog.
“I had to cover his head so he wouldn’t bite me. He was a little upset.”
What makes this story even more incredible is the fact that Tawater had never met the Gourleys prior to the incident. He had no reason to even be at the scene, except for his superior ability to swoop in and save the day.
When asked why he risked his own life to save a stranger’s dog, Tawater had this to say: “Around here, dogs are family.”
We agree with that sentiment, which is why we think it is tremendously important to have a plan in place for when tragedy strikes. Outside of general preparedness (i.e., working fire alarm, extinguisher) and taking fire safety precautions (i.e., no open flames left unattended), there are certain considerations that pet parents should make to ensure that their furry friends will be safe in the event of a fire.
- Window Sticker – Homes with pets should keep a sticker in a window that is easily visible that lists all the people and pets that reside within. That way, first responders know when they have completely evacuated the house.
- Make a “Go Bag” – every family should have a duffel bag full of extra clothes, prescription meds, and anything else you may need in the event that you have to evacuate. Make sure to include things your pets may need (leash, food, litter box, vet records) so that they are covered too.
- Microchipping – Pets often run away after a home fire or other tragedy. It is important to make sure they are microchipped so you can recover your pet easily.