Though Brandon Messerschmidt usually carries pepper spray with him to work, he left it in his truck on Monday when he risked his own life to rush into a burning home to save two pit bulls. The owner was able to get them out himself, but the valiant mailman led them to safety at a neighbor’s house.
The Michigan letter carrier was on duty when he came across a blazing attached garage in Commerce Township. Homeowner Mark Ruggles was trying to put it out with a hose, but within moments the fire spread to the house. His dogs, Diesel and Roscoe, were inside and now needed to be saved before the smoke and flames reached them.
“He started to cough a bit and ran around the house to get some air,” Messerschmidt said. “I went in through the back (of the house). By the time I got in, he had already taken the dogs out through the front.”
He took the pit bulls from Ruggles to let him continue to battle the blaze.
“I was a bit afraid at first,” he said. “They kind of drill into our heads in the mail academy that a dog is a mailman’s enemy.”
Not all dogs, and certainly not these two. Messerschmidt tried to get them into his truck so they wouldn’t run away, but he had better luck getting them to a neighbor’s house.
The gallant man said he’s only been with the Postal Service for three months, and this is his first direct encounter with dogs while on the job. It helps that he likes dogs, and has a beagle of his own named Maggie. Any fear of strange dogs would not have stopped him from saving their lives.
Mark’s wife, Deborah, said that the boys are doing well, but Roscoe is “still a little shaken up.” A cat named Missy was in the house the whole time, but she is also well.
Deborah says her husband called the Postal Service to share their gratitude for Messerschmidt’s actions. Next door neighbor Sheryl Stahl, who was home during the fire, said he’s a hero, and was amazed that “a stranger would go into someone’s house and save dogs – and pit bulls, yet.”
Messerschmidt says he just hopes that someone would do the same for him if his pets were in that situation.
“It’s not really all that spectacular,” he said. “But it is what it is.”