Firefighter Rescues Veteran’s Dog 21 Years After His Own Dog Was Saved

When we choose our dream jobs, there’s usually a reason behind it. Oftentimes, a specific event inspires us to pursue a certain career path. That was especially true for firefighter Rob Lee from Fresno, California. He experienced a horrific fire at only 6 years old. Luckily, his beloved dog, Mackie, was saved thanks to the kind firefighters. That moment inspired him to become a firefighter.

Now, Lee found himself in a similar position. But this time, he was the hero saving a dog from a fire.

Firefighters to the Rescue

Fresno firefighters rushed to the scene of a house fire caused by Fourth of July fireworks. The flames destroyed a Veteran’s home. All the humans safely made it outside, but there was still one furry friend stuck inside.

Fresno City Firefighter
Image: @VanessaABC30/Twitter

A firefighter was in the burning building, trying to figure out the best way to free the dog, whose name is Sampson. The scared pup refused to accept help and tried to bite the firefighters. Because of Sampson’s large size, getting him out was no easy task. So, the firefighters worked together to pull him to safety. Lee says that the extra effort was definitely worth it.

“Houses can be rebuilt but dogs can’t be replaced,” said Lee.

This rescue mission held a special place in Lee’s heart because it hit close to home. 21 years ago, Lee was faced with a similar situation. Only that time, he was a child waiting for his own dog to be rescued.

House Fire AftermathHouse Fire Aftermath
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21 Years Ago

At the time, Lee was only 6 years old. His small dog Mackie was trapped inside his burning home, which had also been caused by Fourth of July fireworks. The firefighters saved Mackie, which caused Lee to get 8 more wonderful years with the pup.

“I was that child on the doorstep and a firefighter was giving my dog to me,” said Lee. “That left a profound impact on me.”

Boy Hugging Small DogBoy Hugging Small Dog
Image: @VanessaABC30/Twitter

That event also inspired Lee to become a firefighter. He wanted to change lives the way firefighters had changed his. He began fighting fires with the forest service and Central Coast departments. But then, he eventually landed his dream job with Fresno Fire. This job finally gave him a chance to return the favor and save someone else’s dog.

The Veteran who lost his home to the fire said that Sampson is doing well. Currently, the dog is being treated for smoke inhalation. Of course, the Veteran is thankful that the firefighters saved his family member. Lee is also grateful that he could save Sampson the same way that firefighters rescued Mackie.

Small Dog in BedroomSmall Dog in Bedroom
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