Homeowner survives fire after re-entering to find pet

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by Natalie Brand

Bio | Email | Follow: @NatalieBrand

azfamily.com

Posted on August 20, 2013 at 10:13 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 26 at 12:27 PM

PHOENIX -- Neighbors and loved ones feared the worst after witnesses say a homeowner entered his burning house to rescue a pet cat.

“I thought we had lost him,” his daughter, Jinea Marple, told 3TV.

A team of Phoenix firefighters rushed into the house on Edgemont Avenue to find the man, using thermal imaging cameras. However, crews had to leave when conditions became too dangerous. 

Then, about 20 minutes later, the homeowner resurfaced, greeted by cheers and tears of joy.  Loved ones said he had escaped through the back of the home.

“I’m just glad to have him back,” Marple said. 

She said her dad went inside to make sure everyone else got outside of the house safely.

Despite the huge risk to both the homeowner and firefighters looking for him, no one was hurt.

“It’s very dangerous for our firefighters to go in there, to take this kind of beating, this kind of heat; a fire like this, where it’s hard to access, looking for him," said Phoenix fire Capt. Larry Nunez.. "Good thing is he made it out.”

The family’s pet cat is being treated for injuries it suffered in the blaze.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The Phoenix Fire Department urges people to be safe, have working smoke detectors and practice an escape plan.

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