When it comes to loyal dogs, this one knows no bounds.
As flames overtook a central Florida home, authorities say the family’s German shepherd helped pull two young children to safety after they became trapped inside.
The heroic act saw Maxx team up with members of the Seminole County Fire Department late Monday night as they navigated the smoke-filled Longwood home.
With a nose-to-the-ground advantage, Maxx guided firefighters to the children’s location, recovering the 2-year-old girl and 4-year-old boy just before midnight, the sheriff’s department said in a release Tuesday.
Outside, the children’s parents, who are both identified as military veterans, were being treated for their own injuries.
Homeowners Margo Feaser, a Seminal County sheriff’s deputy, and her husband were transported with their children to a local hospital. They were last listed as ranging from serious to critical condition. Maxx was taken to a local veterinary clinic for smoke inhalation and is expected to make a full recovery, authorities said.
Despite the frightening scene, the heroic act was just one of several witnessed.
Immediately after the flames overtook the home’s backyard patio, at least one neighbor was on the phone seeking help, the sheriff’s department said.
“The whole back of the house is engulfed,” the caller informed the dispatcher, according to a recording obtained by The Huffington Post.
Neighbor Chip Dover told WFLA that he wasted no time with helping get the family out.
“There was some patio furniture there so I went and smashed out one of the windows and there was a woman inside, we could hear her, my son was calling for her to come to the window,” he told the station.
Feaser appeared dazed but was able to safely escape through the broken window, he said.
Sheriff Don Eslinger expressed his thanks to everyone who helped their beloved deputy in a statement Tuesday.
“We are grateful to the neighbors who jumped into action, and we especially thank the firefighters who selflessly entered the burning structure and risked their lives for the Feaser family,” Eslinger stated. “There is a long road of recovery and rebuilding ahead, but our Sheriff’s Office family will be with Margo and her family every step of the way. We know our community is behind them too, and we appreciate the tremendous outpouring of support the family has received.”
As of Tuesday, the fire has been preliminarily ruled accidental by the state fire marshal. A speculated cause has not been released.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help raise funds toward the family’s recovery. As of Wednesday, it’s raised more than $15,000.
Feaser has been identified by her department as a 12-year-old sheriff's veteran and active Army National Guard member. During her three years with the Army she served overseas during Operation Enduring Freedom.