A man rushed into a burning home in Tennessee to save a dog, then disappeared as quickly and mysteriously as he arrived.
The only clue to his identity was a remark he uttered before going into the house — “I do this for a living,” he told a neighbor.
The man arrived before firefighters did at the home in White House, about 20 miles north of Nashville, and was gone before they got there.
“This guy in a gray Mustang pulls up, says ‘I do this for a living,’ and he runs in and he comes out about two minutes later with this beautiful dog in his arms, and it was incredible to see,” Jimmy Nichols, who shot the video on his cell phone, told WSMV in Nashville.
“He got in his car and he left; it was so weird, he just took off,” said Nichols. “Literally 30 seconds after that guy got out, that roof collapsed.”
“He’s got the love and respect of this whole community,” Nichols said.
Not until later was it learned that the man was a Nashville firefighter who lived nearby and noticed the smoke and flames.
Tim Tawater, a 20-year veteran of the Nashville Fire Department, said he was concerned someone might be in the house. He entered the home and found no people, but when he heard barking he looked again and found the dog.
Tawater threw a blanket over the head of Sampson, Brandon and April Gourley’s one-year-old Bouvier, and carried him outside.
“Around here dogs are family,” Tawater told News Channel 5 in Nashville.
Tawater said, even though he was out of his jurisdiction, he was just doing his job.
“To me the heroes are the volunteers who show up to put the fire out and don’t get paid to do it,” he said.
Tawater said the family, on vacation when the fire broke out, has thanked him for his actions.
The Gourley family’s three cats were also inside the home. Two were found alive, but one is still unaccounted for.
The rescued dog was being cared for by neighbors until the family returned from vacation.
Posted by John Woestendiek October 13th, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, bouvier, dog, dogs, fire, firefighter, house, identified, man, mystery, pets, rescue, rescued, sampson, saved, tennessee, Tim Tawater, white house
A beagle named Sparky is suspected of starting a fire that damaged the home of a Virginia firefighter.
Glenn Ross was about to sit down to dinner at Alexandria Fire Department Station 206 Tuesday evening when he heard a familiar address come across the radio — that of his home in Franconia.
Arriving at his house, Ross learned his wife had not been home, and his two dogs — Sparky and Brownie — had been rescued, though both were unconscious on a neighbor’s lawn. Firefighters had found the dogs under a table in the kitchen, where both spend the day.
Investigators said the fire started when a box of dog treats left on the stove top ignited, WUSA reported.
Ross believes that one of the dogs, most likely Sparky, jumped up trying to get the treats and accidentally turned on a burner.
Ross said a five-year-old neighbor saw smoke coming from the home and ran in to get his grandparents who called 911.
Both dogs were recovering at Alexandria Animal Hospital and Veterinary Emergency Service, where they were being treated for smoke inhalation and corneal burns.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 10th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: alexandria, animals, blame, blamed, brownie, burner, dog, dogs, fire, firefighter, franconia, glenn ross, house, knob, news, ohmidog!, pets, safety, sparky, started, stove, stovetop, treats, turned, video, virginia
A former Los Angeles County assistant fire chief was sentenced to 90 days of weekend jail time and 400 hours of community service for beating his neighbor’s dog so severely with a rock that she had to be euthanized.
Animal activists packed a courtroom in Riverside to hear the, which also requires Glynn Johnson, 55, to take anger management courses and pay the veterinary bills, according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise.
Johnson , accused of using a 12-pound rock to repeatedly strike a 6-month-old German-shepherd mix named Karley, was convicted in January of animal cruelty.
Johnson claimed he was freeing himself after the puppy clamped its mouth on his hand as he walked her home to his neighbor. Witnesses disputed that and said Johnson attacked the dog without reason.
Johnson apologized to the owners, but said he would appeal the sentence.
Karley’s owners, Jeff and Shelley Toole, said in court that Johnson should get the maximum sentence of more than four years in prison.
“If (Karley) did this to you, her punishment would be death,” Jeff Toole said. “And if I were a judge that would be the punishment for you too, but I’m not a judge. You’re a danger society and you need to be locked up before you hurt someone else.”
Judge J. Thompson Hanks said he considered Johnson’s lack of criminal record and service as a firefighter in the lighter sentence. The judge specified that Johnson’s community service include working with dogs.
“You don’t see this kind of outpouring from the community in many cases, including the death of children,” Hanks said. “As a judge, I have to balance. I have to consider the conduct of the individual who did it and the appropriate punishment.”
Posted by John Woestendiek April 3rd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, assistant chief, beaten, county, court, department, dog, dogs, fire, firefighter, german shepherd, glynn johnson, j. thompson hanks, jeff toole, judge, karley, los angeles, mix, news, ohmidog!, pets, riverside, rock, sentence, shelley toole, trial
An Ohio firefighter who was fired for executing his two dogs walked out of an appeal hearing yesterday in which he was seeking to get his job back.
Santuomo, 43, was waiting for the hearing to begin, but left after a television news crew set up a camera in the commission’s hearing room.
“He came here with the intention of going forward but changed his mind,” said Barbara McGrath, the commission’s executive director. The commission had agreed to postpone the original hearing in the fall and informed Santuomo that his appeal would be dismissed if he didn’t attend today’s hearing.
Santuomo was fired in July after being convicted of two counts of animal cruelty and one count of possession of a criminal tool. Prosecutors say Santuomo tied his two mixed-breed dogs to a pipe in his basement and shot them so he wouldn’t have to put them in a kennel while he went on a vacation cruise with his girlfriend. He dumped the bodies in a trash bin behind his fire station
He was sentenced to 90 days in jail and fined $4,500.
Posted by John Woestendiek January 26th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, appeal, cameras, civil service commission, columbus, crew, david santuomo, dog, dogs, executed, fired, firefighter, firing, hearing, job, killed, news, ohio, pets, shooting, shot, television, two dogs, vacation
The dog whose helicopter rescue from a rain-swollen river was captured by television cameras Friday is doing fine.
Despite getting bitten, the Los Angeles firefighter who rescued him is too.
Firefighter Joe St. Georges, 50, received at least one bite after splashing into the Los Angeles River to retrieve the frightened German shepherd. But, after his release from a hospital, he said he has no hard feelings against the dog.
“I knew the dog was scared and tired. It’s not too surprising that it was really upset with this big, loud noisy thing blowing all over it,” Fox News quoted St. Georges as saying. “And then some guy comes and jumps on its back — what a surprise the dog bit me.”
The dog, who wore no identification, has been nicknamed Vernon, after the town where he was found. He will be held for five days to allow time for an owner to claim him, after which he will be put up for adoption. Hundreds of families have already volunteered.
Vernon “appears to be well-maintained and cared for,” said Sgt. Charles Miller of the Southeast Area Animal Control Authority in Downey, Calif.
At least 50 firefighters responded to reports that the dog was in the river on Friday afternoon. For an hour, they throwing life vests and float rings from the river’s steep, concrete banks. Later, a helicopter was used to lower St. Georges into the river, where he wrestled with the dog and, despite getting bitten, held on as the helicopter hoisted the two to safety.
At a late afternoon news conference, helicopter pilot Scott Bowman said St. Georges took a muzzle with him but he wasn’t able to get it on, “so he decided to go for the capture.”
Posted by John Woestendiek January 23rd, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, bites, bitten, capture, dog, dogs, firefighter, german shepherd, helicopter, heroic, joe st. georges, los angeles, news, pets, rain, rescue, rescues, river, vernon, video
An Ohio firefighter sentenced to 90 days in jail for killing his dogs has now lost his fire department job.
Columbus Public Safety Director Mitchell Brown said today that he has decided to terminate 43-year-old David Santuomo on the recommendation of the fire chief, according to an Associated Press report.
The thousands of messages the department received demanding the firefighter be stripped of his job probably played a role as well.
Santuomo pleaded guilty last month to three misdemeanors, including two animal cruelty counts. Prosecutors say Santuomo tied his two mixed-breed dogs to a pipe in his basement and shot them in December so he wouldn’t have to put them up in a kennel while he went on vacation.
Posted by John Woestendiek July 16th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, columbus, david santuomo, dogs, fire department, fired, firefighter, guilty, job, killed, loses, news, ohio, ohmidog!, plea, public safety, shot, terminated, two dogs
A judge in Columbus imposed a 90-day jail sentence on an Ohio firefighter who pleaded guilty to killing his dogs to avoid boarding them while he went on vacation.
David Santuomo, 43, of Columbus pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of animal cruelty and one count of possession of a criminal tool — a homemade silencer he used on the end of a rifle, the Associated Press reports.
Assistant Franklin County Prosecutor Heather Robinson said Santuomo shot his two mixed-breed dogs, Sloopy and Skeeter, on Dec. 3 after tying them to a pipe in his basement. He dumped the remains in a trash bin behind his firehouse, she said.
Prosecutors have said he bragged about the killings to colleagues.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 26th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, bin, columbus, courts, david santuomo, dogs, dumped, firefighter, franklin county, killed, law, ohio, shot, skeeter, sloopy, trash, vacation