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Neighbors jump to rescue dogs from burning house

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Some South Richmond neighbors jumped in to save two dogs from a burning home off Forest Hill Avenue Friday evening.

“I really don’t think that I’ve done anything that anyone else wouldn’t do,”  Carlos Iniguez said.

When Iniguez got a knock at the door from someone saying his next door neighbor’s home was on fire, he quickly sprang into action.

“I looked out saw the flames asked my wife to call 911 and then I ran upstairs and grabbed my boots,” Iniguez said.

Iniguez said he ran to his neighbor’s front yard.

“We obviously couldn’t get to the front of the house because of the flame.  So, we went around the back and the first thing I noticed there was a light on in the bathroom second floor,” said Iniguez.

After he threw a log into the window and no answered, Iniguez and neighbor Chris Heipel kicked in the back door.

“I mean, we were screaming at the door and literally the time I thought we were going to give up, the smoke was coming out of the house,” Heipel said.  “You just saw like black paws.”

Heipel said he went inside the burning home and moved a kitchen chair for the dogs to get out.

“The one dog which was blind, got him out. The other one was super scared.  Literally, he started running back in,” Heipel stated.  “Carlos got him on the door and grabbed him, and got him out of the house.”

“One of the firefighters said if we waited a little longer, the dogs may not have been able to get out,” Iniguez said.

While firefighters try and determine how the home on Rock Falls Drive went up in flames, the South Richmond neighbors will tell you saving the animals was just a labor of love.

“I think anybody would do it,” Heipel said.

“When something’s not right, you try and make it right,” Iniguez said.  “I don’t really see that as being a hero.  You’re just trying to do the right thing.”

CBS 6 spoke with the homeowner’s son.  He says it will be six to eight months before the family can move back into their home.  He declined to talk on camera.

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