NORMAN, Oklahoma - Gene Mendicki and his three dogs were at home in Norman when a fire sparked in the garage area. This happened in November.

Mendicki got a call from ADT Security after an alarm went off. It was then that Gene noticed smoke coming through the laundry room into his house. The woman on the phone called the Norman Fire Department for Gene and told him to get to safety.

Gene rushed his dogs out into the backyard, and went back inside the house to try and save his cat. He remembers, “The ceiling had started falling in so I couldn’t get to him.”

He and his three dogs survived, but his cat did not.

Two months after the fire, Gene is realizing that the situation could have been much worse. If it weren’t for ADT and the Norman Fire Department, Gene believes he would not have made it out of the home alive.

On Wednesday, he thanked the firefighters and ADT employees in person. They gathered outside of Gene’s burnt home, grateful that he survived.