KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Every life matters.
That’s why firefighters in Kansas City, Kansas are celebrating two lives saved at a recent house fire, including a man and a dog.
When Esther Hawkins’ home, which sits near Sumner Academy, caught fire on January 11, she was at work that morning.
“One of my neighbors called. He said your house is on fire,” Hawkins said.
Kansas City, Kansas Fire Department shared body cam video with FOX4, which shows first responders battling the blaze, the cause of which is unknown.
The video clips show firefighters sawing a hole in the house roof to provide ventilation. That’s when firefighters realized a man was still inside the house and so was a dog.
Battling through the thick smoke was tough. Firefighters complain they could barely see through the haze.
“It knocked the wind out of me. I think I was in a state of shock,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins said when she arrived at the house, where she’d lived for 36 years, firefighters were pulling her son, Jason Hawkins, 44, from the house. They were also using a special dog-sized oxygen mask for Meechie, her dog, who’d been pulled from the house.
“I’m very grateful. They worked hard,” Hawkins added. “I would have been much worse if I had lost my son and my dog. Everything in that house can be replaced. I’m thankful my son and my dog made it out.”
KCK Fire officials told FOX4 it took less than five minutes to rescue Hawkins and Meechie, and under an hour to extinguish the fire.
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“It’s one thing when you’re lifting someone who can assist and grab, but when you’re dealing with dead weight, everyone helps as a team and works together to get him out,” David Sunderman, one of the KCK Firefighters on that scene, said.
Both Jason Hawkins and Meechie are expected to be OK, but Jason is still recovering. Esther Hawkins said she’s hopeful for some help, as her home is unusable and she’s been unable to work since the fire.