Heart-stopping video shows an off-duty firefighter risking his life to save a dog from a burning home
Tim Tawater was driving by when he saw the house on fire in Springfield, Tennessee on Saturday. The Nashville fireman lives in the neighborhood and says he looked into the window to make sure the house was empty. That's when he saw the desperate dog.
He told INSIDE EDITION: "The big dog was in the back window like he was going to get out but the window was closed. So, I went inside the front."
Once inside, he could be heard calling for the dog.
The neighbors thought the roof was about to collapse and suddenly, Tawater was at the door with the dog, protected by a blanket.
He was inside the home for 51 seconds and after the rescue, he didn’t wait for accolades-- he just drove off.
Sampson the dog wasn't the only animal in the burning house. The family also has three cats. Two of them were found uninjured hiding under a mattress in a bedroom but the third is still missing.
On Tuesday, Tawater met the homeowners, Brandon and April Gourley, who were on a trip celebrating their seventh anniversary when the fire broke out.
April told INSIDE EDITION: "Someone who has never even met us showed us the ultimate act of kindness and saved apart of our family."
Tawater said: "I was looking for people but found a dog. For some people's family, that is the same thing."
As for Sampson, the 85-pound Bouvier des Flandres is doing just fine.
The house seems to be a total loss. But thanks to a brave neighbor, at least their dog is still alive. If you want to help the family recover, please visit their Gofundme page.