A Berks County, Pennsylvania dog did a self-rescue after jumping out of a second floor window in an attempt to escape a house fire.
Charlie, believed to be a Rottweiler/Pittie mix is featured in a viral video that Justin Steinmetz, 40 was the first to upload.
The resident of Fleetwood was driving to work in the morning of April 27, when he noticed smoke rising above a line of trees that ran behind several homes. Justin said that “it didn’t look like a normal amount of smoke,” so he decided to turn and check where it was coming from. The house was then on fire.
He immediately pounded on the doors to alert its owners, but it quickly became clear that the house’s occupants, the Stump family, weren’t home.
Justin pounded on the neighbors’ doors to alert them of the fire as he didn’t have his phone with him at the time. They dialled 911 and Justin tried to put out the flames with a gardenhose until firefighters arrived.
“Shortly before 0800 am 4/27 the department along with Blandon and Walnuttown fire companies were sent on the initial alarm for a structure fire in the Borough,” wrote the Fleetwood Fire Company in a report posted to their official Facebook page.
Justin first filmed another dog who had just escaped the home’s burning lower level. The pup was clearly distressed and ran around the front yard barking and running.
“Oh, hi puppy, come here buddy,” he can be heard reassuring the dog as it cries. “Come here, come here — I know, your house is on fire.”
Justin hears a commotion and rushes towards it to see Charlie perched at the second-floor window. He was wailing in agony, looking around for ways to escape. Poor dog was exhaling clouds and smoke.
You can see below his rescuers and neighbours encouraging him to jump for safety.
“Come on, Charlie!” they called.
Charlie finally leaps into the arms a rescuer waiting below and the crowd cheers.
“Good boy!” they all gushed, patting down the brave dog whose back appeared badly singed by the flames. Thankfully, despite his burned fur, Charlie seems to be doing well after the incident, as seen in the family’s photos on Facebook.
The full version of the video ends with one of the Stump couple’s school-age triplets, Katie, 18, holding a 16-year-old cat named Monkey who was “found in a lower level unharmed,” according to the Fleetwood firefighters. Sadly, another one of the family’s cats remains missing.
Despite strong winds, firefighters were able stop the flames within 30 minutes. The house was completely burned and appears to have been lost.
The Stumps currently live with relatives nearby. Their friends set up a GoFundMe to help them. It has raised $49,000 as at this writing.
“Our hearts are broken for the Stump family,” its says on the page. “We are very grateful they are ok, but are painfully aware that their lives will be significantly impacted as a result of the devastating fire to their home today.”
Katie and Abby, her sister, lost their prom dresses in the fire. Thanks to a family friend, Le Femme Boutique clothing shop Allentown gifted them new prom dresses.
The shop’s owner, Jane Heimbecker, heard about the fire in the news and called the family as soon as her store opened, according to an update on the Stump family’s Facebook page.
In a second post, the girls can be seen wearing their beautiful new gowns.
Although fire marshals are still trying to determine the cause of the fire, it appears that it was accidental and electrical.
To learn more about this story, click on the video below by Fox 29 Philadephia.
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