As 14-year-old Mike Assi of Phoenix rode the bus to his middle school yesterday morning, he noticed smoke pouring from a house.
It was his house, and his Pit Bull mix, Zach, was inside it. Assi ran to the front of the bus and yelled for the driver to stop.
“The bus driver was yelling at me, telling me not go in but I just had to open the door,” Assi, a student at Deer Valley Middle School, told KPHO. “I had to at least yell for my dog to see if I could give him a chance to come out. I was just worried about him. I wasn’t scared. I was worried about him because he’s family.”
Assi jumped off the bus and ran to his house. When he opened the front door, smoke poured out. He called Zach’s name but got no response. So he ran around to the back door. When he opened it, Zach ran out.
Assi said Zach has been part of the family for 8 and a half years — over half his life.
Neither Assi or Zach were injured. No one else was home at the time. Firefighters put out the fire, which caused extensive damage to the house.
Capt. Aaron Ernsberger with the Phoenix Fire Department told KPHO that if you should happen to see a house fire, call 911 immediately.
The Assi family is thankful Zach is alive, and they’re calling Mike a hero for saving his life.
— Anita Roman Fox 10 (@ANITAROMANFOX10) December 2, 2016
— CBS 5 News (@CBS5AZ) December 2, 2016
Family Lost Everything Except Their Dog
According to a GoFundMe page, the Assi family lost just about everything except Zach in the fire.
“The home was deemed a total loss and very little was salvageable,” wrote a family member. “My sister who is a competitive cheerleader lost all of her uniforms, we lost Christmas presents that had been bought, along with the irreplaceable family photos and memorabilia.”
More than $2,200 has been raised for hero Mike and his family as of Saturday. If you’d like to help them, click here.
Photo via YouTube