CAPE CORAL, Fla. - A quick thinking teen helps save four dogs from near death after a house fire. It happened in Cape Coral Thursday evening.
The house is nearly ruined, but the owners still have their most prized possession: their pets.
On Friday, the furry four legged friends appeared healthy and happy after coming so close to death.
"We were blessed. We were blessed," said Sheldon Wiseman, owner of the dogs and home that caught fire.
The drier in Sheldon home caught fire. With no one there to put out the flames, the fire spread quickly. The laundry room is completely destroyed. The intense flames melted metal - ruined the floor. The smell of smoke still lingers in the air.
"You got smoke everywhere... the residue," Sheldon said looking around his home.
Part of the house is ruined.
"It stopped right about here," Sheldon said referring to the flames.
Looking around at the damage, he says it's okay. Belongings can be replaced. What can't be is the Wiseman's four dogs. The dogs were caged at the time the fire started.
With smoke billowing from the home and dogs barking, 16 year-old neighbor Lauren Cergnilia knew something was wrong.
"We got through the back fence and smoke started coming out," Lauren said referring to when she went to make sure everything was okay.
But it wasn't. Lauren could see and smell smoke. She went to get her dad, Paul, who called 911. While they waited, the two went into rescue mode. Determined to save the dogs, they risked their own lives by forcing their way inside the house.
"I didn't even think of it. I just went in and I went in as far as I could," Paul Cergnilia said.
The smoke proving too much, Paul ran out. Then lauren tried.
"I ran in to the front. I couldn't even breath from the smoke so I ran out," she said.
But because of their quick call to 9-1-1, firefighters were able to go inside and all the dogs out. Lauren says they're the real heroes. Either way everyone is happy these dogs are alive.
"It could have ended badly," Lauren said.
The Wiseman's home will need major repairs. In the meantime, they, along with the dogs are staying with relatives next door.