There are many things you can do to better your chances of surviving a house fire. Making sure your smoke detectors are working, having an escape plan and practicing drills with the family are all great ways to make sure that if the worst should happen, you at least have an idea of how to react.
Two boys from Central Islip, New York, proved they knew how to deal with just such a situation when their home broke into flames on Friday around 3 p.m.
According to what police told Fox News, the boys’ mother had run out for a quick, local errand and “was only gone for a short time.”
And yet, in that time, disaster struck. Someone must have called the fire in, as Officers Sergio Rivera and James Galanos arrived to see the 11- and 13-year-old brothers exiting the house.
But not everyone had made it out of the house: JJ and Tiger were still somewhere inside.
JJ, a 2-year-old Chihuahua, and Tiger, a 2-year-old cat, had split up and gone into hiding, making their rescue even more difficult and unwittingly putting themselves and their rescuers in more danger.
The Suffolk County Police Department posted about the incident the next day, praising the officers’ efforts to retrieve the two furry family members.
“It was a lucky day for a Chihuahua named JJ and his feline friend Tiger when two Suffolk County police officers rescued them from a burning house yesterday,” the police department shared.
“The officers made entry through the back of the house, and saw Tiger, a 2-year-old male cat run toward the basement.
“Due to the smoke, the officers could not initially locate the dog but fortunately heard JJ whimpering near a couch. They found him inside a crate near the fire.”
Rivera picked up the crate with the terrified pup, and both officers got out of the house — but Galanos returned to find the cat in the basement, and was able to rescue him, too.
“Thank you to Officers Rivera and Galanos for rescuing this family’s furbabies!” the post concluded.
“They were so thankful toward James, that he went the extra mile to find Tiger,” Rivera told Newsday.
“It’s what I joined for. This is what I wanted to do, be helpful, make someone’s day,” he said, adding that he’s “thankful that I belong to a Suffolk County family that is here to help everybody.”
The police department shared that neither the animals nor the boys were injured in the fire. A police department spokesperson also confirmed that no firefighters or police officers were injured, either.
The cause of the fire has not been revealed, but detectives investigated the scene.
Many people have responded to the post thanking the officers for charging back into the blaze to save the pets. Not everyone would be so brave for the sake of someone else’s animals, but these two officers have proven their mettle.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.