Deputy Michael Gregorek somehow managed to save Hank before the trapped pup was seriously hurt.
dog in burning car
Credit: Courtesy of Douglas County Sheriff's Office

We're not sure we've ever seen a rescue so dramatic: a car filled with smoke, a dog trapped inside, and a Colorado sheriff's deputy smashing windows with his baton.

Thankfully, the frightening scene—captured via body camera on Jan. 22—ends with a dog named Hank rescued after a deputy from the Douglas County Sheriff's Office managed to lift him from the burning car.  

The entire rescue takes less than one minute as Deputy Michael Gregorek arrives in his patrol car across the neighborhood street from the burning Ford Expedition SUV. The dog's owner is noticeably distraught, telling Gregorek the dog is in the car. 

Gregorek takes his baton and smashes the driver's side passenger window open to let more smoke escape. Hank's owner then explains that his dog is in the back of the SUV, so the deputy smashes out the rear window as well. The pup's owner manages to get a salivating Hank to approach the fresh opening, but he can't get the frightened dog to climb out. 

That's when Gregorek manages to lift Hank out of the car and hustle him over to a safe, snowy landing spot. 

In an interview with the sheriff's office—which you can see after the rescue in the video above—Gregorek says he figured a crime could be in progress as he arrived at the burning car, but he soon went into rescue mode when he heard Hank's owner crying for his trapped dog.

He said he didn't want to get in the way of Hank's owner as he was trying to save him, but as soon as the other man abandoned his rescue attempt, Gregorek stepped in.

"I just went in there and grabbed on, and his body had kind of already started to tense up, so I knew he was really in a bad way," he said. "And so my thought only at that point was, 'He's coming out with me, regardless of whatever else might be happening.'"

A neighbor who brought Gregorek some water told him his wife is a veterinarian. She was able to check Hank out, and the good boy, who looks like a pit bull or pit mix, seemed to be just fine. He was even running around the backyard, Gregorek says. 

He was sure to give Hank some nice pets before heading out, and the dog thanked him with a few appreciative kisses.