Woman Made It Out Of Massive Fire But Didn't Survive Going Back Inside To Save Dog

Nov 19, 2020 by apost team

A New Jersey woman's fierce devotion to her pet dog compelled her to attempt to rescue him from a five-alarm fire on Sunday. The woman did not manage to escape the fire and was killed in an attempt to rescue her pet.

Fifty-three-year-old Felicia Hernandez De La Cruz, a native of Paterson, NJ, where the fire took place. De La Cruz was at home when her house on Summer Street went up in flames at around 2:30 in the morning on Sunday, November 8, 2020. The massive fire involved two Summer Street homes and was so intense that multiple fire departments in the area rushed to respond.

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As the intensity of the flames increased, the emergency was quickly upgraded from a two-alarm to a five-alarm fire, as Paterson Press reports. Quelling the fire required the collective effort of hundreds of firefighters arriving on the scene from Totowa, Prospect Park, and Clifton, NJ, fire departments. Not only did two entire houses burn completely to the ground, but three other nearby houses sustained fire damage as well. At this time, the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

De La Cruz was reported missing throughout the night while local and additional first responders raced to control the blaze. Jerry Speciale, Paterson Police Director, tweeted about the missing woman when responders first arrived at the fire, saying that a 53-year-old woman had gone missing. Later, she was identified as De La Cruz by name.


A Passionate Rescue Attempt

Neighbors told CBS New York that De La Cruz's son had originally evacuated her so she had at first made it safely out of her house. As the fire burned on, she realized her dog hadn't made it out of the house with her and was still inside. De La Cruz, according to CBS New York, ran back inside the burning house as soon as she realized she was missing her dog.

After disappearing into the fire she had only just managed to survive, she did not emerge a second time. Whether she had lived or died was officially unknown until around 10:30 the next morning, when authorities were able to confirm her death with certainty, as reported by People.

Woman's Body Found

With the street fire fully contained, fire personnel was finally able to assess the damage and perform a search for the missing woman. Upon conducting a search through the charred remnants of the houses, they quickly discovered De La Cruz's body in her own newly burnt down-home. "She and her family are in our thoughts and prayers," Speziale told People, before adding: "She's a Patersonian, so she's part of our family and it's extremely difficult."

Speziale tweeted that some Paterson firefighters were sent to a burn center for "non life threatening injuries." He added, "God bless them and watch over. Great job by all. Amazing teamwork."

The Meaning of Love for a Pet

Felicia Hernandez De La Cruz died trying to save her dog from one of the most dangerous emergency situations anyone can ever face. Her initial survival was nearly miraculous, given the magnitude of the sudden blaze. But not even a five-alarm fire could keep her from returning to the flames once more and trying to rescue her best friend.

Almost everyone knows a truly devoted dog lover. It can make for some very sweet stories on most days. But when that bond is so strong that not even the threat of certain death can keep a human from wanting to be with their dog, it can end in tragedy. Those incredibly devoted people out there who really would, without thinking twice, run into a burning building to save their pet, might need this story in their lives.

The world needs more real-life stories that deal with the special humans who love their pets so much they're willing to risk their lives to save them. Animal rescues are not always joyful reunions. Here, we can see some of the very real, jarring consequences of a person's love for their pet. People who love all kinds of animals will probably feel some type of connection to these events.

What sense can be made of Felicia Hernandez De La Cruz's actions? Some might consider her actions completely ill-advised or insane. For others, what she did was the only possible choice that a true pet owner would make in that situation. What would most pet owners in your life make of this story? Talk about it in the comments, and don't forget to pass this article to all of your friends.

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