Oklahomans rescue dog from fire

Sunday, July 27th 2008, 11:13 pm
By: News 9

By Rusty Surette, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY - Two Oklahoma strangers teamed up to save one of man's best friends from a house fire Sunday afternoon.

Elisa Vasquez lives across the street from 1901 NW 38 Street and her mother called the fire department.

"We pulled a garden hose in, but it wasn't going to help at all," said Vasquez.

Mack Zeiler was driving by when he saw the smoke and flames. Together, Vasquez and Zeiler entered the home to search for survivors

"He's the one who picked up the big pieces of rock and broke in the front window so we could get into the house," said Vasquez.

Zeiler saw a car and when he looked inside, there was a purse on the counter.

"I thought maybe somebody was in there," he said.

Once inside, they realized the people living there were gone, but the home wasn't empty. Through the thick smoke they found a dog, Zeek, and made their way back outside.

Zeiler suffered smoke inhalation and the heat took a toll on his body.

"I was getting dizzy because of the smoke and I went up stairs," Zeiler said.

It was a risky rescue and that's why neighbors are calling the daring duo true heroes, a title they both disagree with.

"Well, I'm not sure if I consider myself a hero, but Mack is definitely the hero," said Vasquez.

Zeiler said anybody should do something like that and he's glad nobody was hurt.

Zeek's owner said she's very grateful to Mack and Elisa for saving not only her dog but her home.

Investigators believe the fire was started by a short in an A-C unit located in the back of the house. The couple who lived there plans to stay with other family members tonight.