RUTHERFORD COUNTY, TN (WSMV) – The victim of a fire in Rutherford County is thanking firefighters for saving her dog’s life.
Rosemary Faulk was sleeping at her home on Yeargan Road on June 17 when she told fire officials she was awoken around midnight. Faulk said her dog Prissy was barking, which caused her to believe that someone was trying to break into her home.
That’s when Faulk said she began walking through the house toward her garage with Prissy in hand. She could not locate her dog named Max or her cat named Wriggles.
Faulk said she believed that the two pets had heard the commotion and hid somewhere in the home. At that same time, she smelled smoke, but did not believe there was a fire.
However, there was fire coming through the door. Reluctantly, fire officials said Faulk exited the home without her other two pets.
While outside with Prissy, Faulk called 911, but said she thought about re-entering the home to find her other pets.
“I still thought I had some time,” Faulk told Rutherford County fire officials.
At that moment, there was a small explosion in her garage. Officials said the fire “escalated and came through the roof, heading toward the attic.”
“After the explosion, it just took off from there,” Faulk said in a statement on Thursday.
The explosion was large enough to cause a nearby neighbor’s Ring doorbell camera to trigger and record the whole event.
Faulk said was “incredibly impressed with their fast response,” but crews were not able to save her home. Faulk said the speedy actions of firefighters salvaged several items including Faulk’s furniture.
“Once they extinguished the fire, they went back in to look for my animals,” Faulk said.
Firefighters found Wiggles dead, but Max was unconscious.
“He was in a place that he would normally never hide,” Faulk said. “They found him, started CPR, and then applied a pet rescue breathing mask,” she continued.
Max was rushed to River Rock Animal Hospital where Faulk said he spent a week. As of Thursday, Max is doing well.
“We weren’t sure if he would make it, but miraculously he did,” Faulk said.
Faulk thanked firefighters for saving her furry friend and sent a meal to the crew that responded to the call. The care package included "a special Thank you card from Max, complete with his stamp of approval," fire officials said.
“I just cannot say it enough what a superb job these firefighters did. I was so proud of their compassion toward me and Max," Faulk said. "They truly went above and beyond their call of duty."
Rutherford County Fire Rescue Chief Larry Farley said the firefighters "do not do this for the praise."
“We do it because it’s the job we signed up for, and we have a passion for serving the citizens of this great County," Farley said. “We thank Ms. Faulk for her thoughtfulness, and we are so glad that Max is thriving and are proud we had a part in that.”