In a rush of adrenaline a Rutherford man ran into a raging fire to save his best friend – his dog Ditch.
Mark Woodbury had ducked to the shops for 10 minutes on Tuesday to get some supplies for a fishing trip, but when he returned he noticed smoke billowing from a back window.
“You could smell it straight away and there was black smoke everywhere,” Mr Woodbury said. “The first thing I thought of was Ditch. There was no way I was going to let my dog burn to death.”
Without a second thought, Mr Woodbury rushed into the house to save the four-year-old rescue dog.
It took three attempts of running through the house because the smoke made it difficult to see and the heat was overpowering.
On the third attempt, Mr Woodbury said he tripped over something and luckily it was Ditch.
He frantically carried the dog from the house and tried to resuscitate him on the driveway.
Police, paramedics and the four fire trucks were at the scene by this stage. A paramedic stepped in and used a mask ventilator to bring the dog back to life.
Ditch was taken straight to the veterinary emergency department at the RSPCA in Rutherford.
The German shepherd-cross was in a stable condition on Tuesday afternoon, thanks to the quick thinking of the emergency services and the heroic efforts of his owner.
“My dog is everything to me,” Mr Woodbury said. “I’ve lost all of my kitchen, all of my appliances, my laundry, my furniture, but it’s my dog, that’s the important thing.
“He would have died in there if I hadn’t gone in.”
Mr Woodbury has lived at the NSW Housing property on Endeavour Street for eight years with his wife Karen and their three children.
The family was not at home when the fire started in the kitchen.
NSW Fire and Rescue are investigating the blaze, including the possibility it could have been caused by an electricity fault.
In the meantime the Woodbury family will await alternative housing.
Unfortunately they did not have home and contents insurance and lost many of their possessions in the fire.