Kayla Marie Blake saved the life of her Pit Bull, Rebel, two times. The first time was three years ago, when she adopted him from a shelter. The second time was last week, when she left him in the bedroom of her apartment with the door closed.
While this may not seem like a life-saving action, it was the closed door that probably saved Rebel’s life when a five-alarm fire broke out in the Harrisonburg, Va., apartment building on March 28.
Harrisonburg Fire officials said all occupants of the complex were safely evacuated within an hour, but that didn’t include some four-legged occupants, including Rebel.
Fearing the worst, Blake returned to the apartment complex two days after the fire. “I saw the window of my room, and I couldn’t believe how much was still left compared to the rest of the building,” she told WTVR.
Imagine the relief Blake felt when she heard Rebel barking from inside her third-story apartment. But she was still concerned that he may have been injured. She called the fire department to check on her dog.
When firefighters entered Blake’s bedroom, Rebel was hiding under a desk.
“He was growling at them,” Blake told WTVR. “Then he started barking and didn’t stop until he saw me enter the room.”
A crowd that had gathered outside the apartment complex cheered when Blake emerged, carrying her beloved Rebel in her arms.
RESCUED FROM THE RUBBLE: Days after a fire destroyed an apartment complex in Harrisonburg, a dog named Rebel was found by firefighters on the building’s third floor: https://t.co/gryFp78bKr pic.twitter.com/wB3taCGs4a— WHSVnews (@WHSVnews) March 30, 2019
Today, firefighters were dispatched for a public service call at Lois Ln., where the fire occurred on Thursday. To their surprise they made another pup rescue. Rebel, is one lucky pup. pic.twitter.com/20gotPrP9r— Harrisonburg Fire (@HFDVA) March 31, 2019
Despite his ordeal, Rebel only suffered a burn to his nose. His veterinarian said it was hard to tell the dog had lived through a fire.
Rebel isn’t the only lucky pet to survive the fire. Another dog was found alive, curled up in a bathtub, about five hours after the fire was put out. Sadly, a cat didn’t survive the fire, which is believed to have been caused by “improperly discarded smoking materials,” according to the fire department.
Blake’s apartment may be a total loss, but she still has what mattered to her most. “Rebel was the only salvageable thing in the room,” she told WTVR. “I’m just happy I have my best friend back. The rest can be replaced.”