Neighbor and his friends rescue man, his dog from burning Tempe home

A man was rushed to the hospital on Saturday after he was burned badly in a Tempe house fire, says the Tempe Fire Medical Rescue Department on April 24, and a neighbor and his friends played a big role in preventing the fire from turning deadly.

Crews responded to reports of a single-story house fire near Baseline Road and Loop-101. There they found a "heavy amount of fire," says the department's Assistant Chief of Community Risk Reduction, Andrea Glass.

"Crews made an aggressive attack and were able to keep the fire from spreading to a second home," she said.

A man was found with serious burn injuries and was taken to the hospital for treatment. He's expected to be OK.

Photo courtesy of Tricia Jauregui

Photo courtesy of Tricia Jauregui

The cause of the fire, crews say, was likely from an unattended barbecue.

Crews say when they first got the call, they were told that the man was trapped inside but a passerby alerted him to the danger and helped get the man and his dog out of the burning home.

Buddy, the dog, sat quietly next to his neighbors and rescuers hours after his home went up in flames.

"We were in the backyard barbecuing, a bunch of us friends, when we just started smelling smoke," says Art Magana.

He and a couple of other friends rushed over to the burning home pounding on the front door, alerting the man inside to danger.

"Banging on the door to get him out, finally he opened the door, dog came out and then he started going back inside," Magana said.

It was at that point that he ran in to grab the dog and pull him back outside to safety. Then he and his friends helped to hose down parts of the house until firefighters got there.

"That house was hot fast, it went up quick," Magana said.

Crews say the fire started on the back patio of the house and quickly spread.

"There was a very large amount of smoke which could be seen from miles away. We’re able to tackle the fire quickly enough from the outside and go inside to the interior so we were able to keep the fire from going to the next home," said Brandon Seibert with the department.

Magana says he’ll be temporarily taking in Buddy and he’s grateful that he was there to help save a life.

"I’m just glad I had friends with me to help get the guy out. I couldn’t have done it by myself," he said.

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