House fires are absolutely terrifying, especially when they occur during the night. The Butler family was peacefully sleeping in their home in Bradenton, Florida when the fire struck mercilessly and completely unexpectedly.
There was a fire alarm in the house, but it only made noise for a little while before malfunctioning. As a result, none of the family members woke up.
“It only lasted a short ‘beep beep’ and then it was already on fire. It was gone,” Leroy Butler said to FOX 13.
However, their loyal and trusted Jack Russell Terrier quickly realized what was going on and constantly kept barking to wake his owners up.
The four-footer named Zippy ran through the blaze to notify the family as he sounded his own alarm through barking.
“He was back and forth. He was from bed to bed, back and forth,” Leroy recalls.
And the inferno was incredibly devastating. According to the Bradenton Fire Department, the flames originated from the air conditioning unit from the attic as it then spread through the rest of the house. It’s still unknown how the fire exactly started, but it’s clear that the family home is a total loss.
“They wouldn’t move. All they could do was scream and holler, ‘No! No! No!'” dad Leroy said about the rest of the family members who were stuck in the house.
Eventually, everyone got out of the house safely – except for one.
Zippy was stuck inside the home when everything was still burning, and there was no way to get him out. Butler tried to go back inside to save him, but it was practically impossible because the whole house was on fire. All of the furniture was burning and the flames were engulfing the ceilings.
“The floor in the living room was all on fire so there was nowhere for him to run out. Even if the smoke was this high. He was a short little dog. There was nowhere for him to go,” the man recalls.
It was absolutely horrific to wait until all of the flames were extinguished, but that’s everything the family could do at that point. They let the firefighters do their work, but Zippy already succumbed to the toxic smoke before someone could rescue him.
Zippy is being praised as a hero dog who sacrificed himself to save the lives of all of his owners.
The family is deeply saddened by the fact that they not only lost their loyal four-footer and best friend, but they lost their home along with most photos of them together as well.
“We adopted him as a pet, so we can only, I can only say he was a good dog. He only did what he could,” the man said. “He would let me know if someone was outside. With the smoke, he still did his job. That’s just one thing and one person that I couldn’t save and one person I couldn’t get to,” he added.
“He was real helpful and we’re going to miss him.” “He did his job, we rescued him, and I guess he returned the favor,” Leroy stated to Bay News 9.
Everyone is completely devasted by the loss, and the family has no idea when they move back into their home again – or even if they can ever move back in again at all.
The family buried Zippy the following morning. He was a hero dog that will never be forgotten, and his sacrifice will live on through the lives of all the family members he saved.
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