The dog’s body had already begun to tense up from the smoke inhalation by the time the officer got to him.
When Colorado Deputy Michael Gregorek was dispatched to a vehicular fire, he wasn’t sure what to expect.
Dozens of thoughts were running through his head.
He was unsure what kind of situation was waiting for him.
He was asking questions to himself such as, was it a crime?
Would it spread to a house?
Are there people in it?
When he arrived at the scene, he saw a man throwing something at the vehicle.
A month before this incident, Deputy Gregorek and his team arrested an individual for throwing Molotov cocktails at vehicles.
He was concerned that this was another similar incident.
It turned out that the man was the owner of the vehicle and was shouting that his dog was in the car.
It became immediately apparent that it was not a crime, but there was a life to save.
The incident was captured through the deputy’s body and dashboard cameras.
The deputy used his ASP, or his retractable baton, to break the car’s back window.
The owner calls the dog by shouting his name Hank, and Hank sticks his head out of the window, drooling and obviously in distress.
The owner tried pulling Hank out of the window, but the smoke got to him, and he could not pull his pet out.
After trying to pull him out, he retreated from the vehicle while coughing.
The smoke coming out from the car was getting thick and coming out from the window.
When Deputy Gregorek saw the owner step aside, he immediately approached Hank and pulled him out with all his might.
You can see in the video that the deputy was holding on to Hank tightly and not letting go of the dog.
He successfully freed Hank from the fiery vehicle and tossed him into the snow.
“His body had already started to tense up, so I knew he was really in a bad way. So my thought at that point was that he was coming out with me regardless of whatever else might be happening, smoke or fire,” Deputy Gregorek said in an interview with Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
“Nothing else mattered at that point except Hank getting out of the car,” he also said.
In the video, you can hear Deputy Gregorek coughing violently after saving Hank, which illustrates the potential danger of the situation.
A nearby neighbor approached the deputy and offered him water.
The neighbor also told the deputy that his wife was a vet and would be home from a grocery run soon.
She would be able to check on Hank.
When she arrived and assessed Hank, he was already completely recovered.
He was running and sprinting around the backyard.
When the deputy checked on Hank a little later, he also saw that Hank was in good shape.
Hank thanked the deputy the way dogs usually thank their humans – by licking his arms.
Deputy Gregorek shared that he is also a dog lover, which added to his determination to save Hank from the fire.
“I’m a dog parent. My only child is my dog. I would have done the same thing whether baby, human, dog, cat. A life is a life and you treat is as such in a situation like that,” the deputy said.
Douglas County is lucky to have a deputy as dedicated and selfless as Deputy Gregorek.
He showed us the true meaning of heroism when he placed Hank’s welfare above his own.
It’s no wonder that this video has been viewed over four million times.
We’re sure Hank, his owner, and the rest of the community are grateful for Deputy Gregorek’s commitment to serving the people as best as he can.
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