The internet has declared Charlie one hot dog!
A plucky pooch is being hailed online for his bravery after jumping from the window of a two-story house to escape a raging inferno in Pennsylvania.
A breathtaking, now-viral video of Charlie’s death-defying leap of faith is currently igniting the interwebs as dog lovers rejoice over the incredible “self-rescue.”
“Oh, my gosh these poor people — I hope they get they get the dogs out,” shocked videographer Justin Steinmetz, 40, can be heard saying as he gasps for air in the original, unedited 15-minute clip. The Fleetwood resident happened across the blaze while driving through the town early Wednesday morning.
“I was the first at the scene,” said the Samaritan, who pounded doors to alert the neighbors to the heart-pounding disaster, as he didn’t have his phone at the time. They subsequently dialed 911 and firefighters raced to the scene.
“Shortly before 0800 am 4/27 the department along with Blandon and Walnuttown fire companies were sent on the initial alarm for a structure fire in the Borough,” the Fleetwood Fire Company reported on their official Facebook page.
That’s when Steinmetz witnessed the aforementioned pup — an apparent Rottweiler-pittie mix — make his incredible jump.
The action-packed footage starts off with another dog, who had just escaped the house’s lower level, which is seen engulfed in flame, running frantically around the front lawn. The animal appears distressed that its pal, named Charlie, was still trapped inside the burning structure.
“Oh, hi puppy, come here buddy,” Steinmetz can be heard saying reassuringly as the dog cries. “Come here, come here — I know, your house is on fire.”
The footage then cuts to the pup in question, which is perched at an open window on the second story whining piteously as smoke billows all around him. All the while, valiant neighbors and rescuers can be seen below encouraging the imperiled pup to jump to safety.
“Come on, Charlie!” rescuers called, at first to no avail.
At seemingly the last second, Charlie makes a flying leap into the arms of a rescuer below, prompting rescuers to rejoice.
“Good boy,” they gushed while patting down the courageous pooch, whose back appears badly singed by the blaze. Later in the clip, the relieved samaritans hose down the hot dog while firefighters douse the flames. Thankfully, Charlie appeared to be faring well following the fiery encounter, although the extent of his injuries remains unclear, local news outlet the Mercury reported.
The clip concludes with one of the house’s occupants, named Katie Stump, 18, holding a lucky cat named Monkey, who was “found in a lower level unharmed,” per Fleetwood firefighters. Unfortunately, another one of Stump’s cats is still missing.
Thankfully, despite being initially “hampered” by high winds, firefighters were able to quell the blaze. “The fire was put under control within 30 minutes while Fleetwood stayed on location until 11:30,” the Fleetwood Fire Company reported. “The PSP fire marshal was on scene and the structure was turned over to the homeowners shortly after.”
They added, “Great teamwork and thanks to all departments who responded and assisted.”
The house’s occupants, the Stump family, are currently staying with nearby relatives while their friends set up a GoFundMe for them, which amassed over $41,000 as of Friday afternoon. Meanwhile, the Le Femme Boutique clothing shop in Allentown has, with the help of a family friend, gifted Katie Stump and her sister Abby brand-new prom dresses.
“She [the shop’s owner Jane Heimbecker] saw the fire on ABC news last night and called as soon as the shop opened!!” read a Thursday update on the Stump family’s official Facebook page.
A follow-up post shows the siblings rocking their glamorous new gowns.
“They said YES to the dresses! I LOVE seeing these smiles so much!” page admin Kristin Santangelo. “Thank you to shop owner @Jane Heimbecker at Le Femme Boutique for providing these gorgeous gowns and jewelry to match as well.”
Fire marshalls are still trying to determine what sparked the blaze.