PARKLAND, Wash. - A Central Pierce firefighter rescued a dog named ‘Kookie’ from a burning home, reuniting her with a tearful owner who tried to go back into the blaze to save his dog.
Pierce County deputies and fire crews responded to a fire at a home at 144th Street S. and Pacific Ave. S. in Parkland on Feb. 3. When a deputy arrived on the scene, witnesses told her a man was trying to go back into the home to save his dog.
In bodycam footage released from the Pierce County Sheriff's Department, a deputy can be heard yelling, "You gotta get out of the house! You gotta get out of the house! Come on!" as she runs to the home where the man had just gone back inside.
"I gotta save my dog," the man cried as he ran out of the home just as glass shattered behind him.
The deputy worked to keep the man comforted and out of the house.
The following exchange between the deputy and dog owner was caught on bodycam footage:
The deputy stayed with the man as firefighters worked on the home, with one rescuing Kookie from the flames.
Kookie was given oxygen and is expected to be okay. The family and firefighters believed that the two house cats were killed, but on Feb. 7, one of the cats, Zooey, was found alive in the debris. The other cat was confirmed to be dead, but the family is working to coax Zooey out of the rubble.
"Deputy Dech showed the courage our deputies have to put themselves in danger to help others. She also showed compassion by comforting the resident during what must have been the longest minutes of his life," the Pierce County Sheriff's Department wrote on Facebook.
"I'm alive. My uncle is alive, thank God, and nobody else got hurt," said Mike Wilt.
Wilt and his Uncle Jim (the man in the video trying to save the dog) both lived in the home.
Wilt says all he and his uncle have now are the clothes on their back. The home is destroyed and so are all of their belongings, and they don't have insurance.
The family has money from the Red Cross they are using to stay at a motel, but Wilt says that will only last a few days.
Cookie with Deputy Dech | Pierce County Sheriff's Department
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