The Heath family, of Boggabilla, Australia, are forever grateful for neighbor, Mike Nicolas, who courageously ran into the family’s burning home to save their dog.
The family was away when the house lit up in flames. Bravely, Mike entered the home several times to save the dog, who was shut inside of a dog crate.
Mike is a modest hero who states he was simply doing what had to be done. His wife, Khilaas, said, “He was really brave. I could see him coming off the verandah, getting some air, shaking his head and going back for another try.”
It took Mike six tries as he desperately worked to free the dog that was enclosed inside the crate.
“I could hear the dog in the cage screaming in fear,” he said.
During his sixth and final attempt, Mike was able to successfully free the dog, as he pulled the bolt free using a garden fork.
As soon as the dog was free, the pair ran to safety.
“The dog had smoke coming off her fur, poor thing, but she was alive.”
While Mike suffered from minor burns on his face, back and arm, he sums it up to feeling like a bad sunburn.
The fire started around 5:38AM, Saturday morning.
The Nicolas family was fast asleep, when Mike awoke to a high-pitched screeching noise coming from the speaker system.
“I got up to turn them off, then the cat wanted to go out, so I opened the door, looked across the road and saw our neighbor’s house was on fire,” he said.
“We were so worried, because we didn’t know the Heath family had gone away for the night. Their son Brandon is really good friends with our teenage daughters, Lohara and Taliesha, so I was terrified they might still be in the house,” Khilaas said. “We ran over, and as soon as we got close, there was an enormous fireball through the windows.”
“You don’t really have time to think when things like this happen,” said Mike, “Lohara rang Triple Zero. Taliesha was crying, because she was so worried about Brandon.”
“Then we saw their car wasn’t there, and someone told us they weren’t home, so that was such a relief. But then all I could think of was the dog in the cage on the verandah. She was almost screaming in fear.”
Amongst all the chaos, both Mike and Khilaas knew they needed to do something about the dog who was trapped.
“All I could think was I couldn’t bear my daughters having to see something like that. It would have been too much,” Michael said.
Mike ran effortlessly back and forth as he worked on setting the dog dree. The crate had become very hot, and the bolt wouldn’t slide. Mike knew his time was limited as the verandah was on fire.
“I was saying, please have one more go, please have one more go,” said Khilaas. “I’m so glad he did.”
“Everybody’s okay, that’s the main thing. The dogs are all right. We think a vet came and took the one who had been in the cage away for treatment,” Khilaas said. “What is so scary is that your house could burn down and no-one might notice. If the speakers hadn’t been screeching, we wouldn’t have woken up until it was too late.”
An investigation into the fire is currently taking place.