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The firefighter’s helmet camera captured the heroic rescue.

By Austin Cannon
December 28, 2020
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Our dogs getting trapped inside a burning building is the stuff of nightmares, and unfortunately this bad dream became a reality for a family in Pennsylvania earlier this month. 

But—but!—firefighters were there to save the day.

Late in the evening on Dec. 19, firefighters from the Lititz Fire Company and other departments responded to a barn fire, the company wrote on Facebook. The barn was almost fully (and scarily) engulfed. 

A resident of the house adjacent to the barn told firefighter Ryan Balmer that his dog was stuck inside the barn. Balmer’s dramatic helmet video—which you should watch above if you haven’t already—shows him at the window urging the black dog to jump through the open window. 

“C’mon, c’mon buddy!” he said. The pup responded with woofs but didn’t jump through. 

“It didn’t want to,” Balmer told a local news station. “It kinda got scared and ran back in. So at that point then I made the decision to bust the window out, climb in, and help the dog out.”

He ended up ripping out both window panes from their frame before climbing in. After a brief chase around the room, Balmer gathers up the dog and hoists her out of the burning building. 

The fire department reported that the dog simply ran back to her humans, sat down, and looked back at the raging fire. To her, evidently, it was fine. (Which, if you are not familiar with the meme, means it was horrific.)