ODESSA, Tx. (KOSA) - A man is being called a hero after running into a house fire to help save the owner and her pets.
Rudy Espinoza was running his regular weekend errands when he told CBS7 News he saw the unthinkable.
Rudy Espinoza was running his regular weekend errands when he saw the unthinkable - black and heavy smoke pouring out from a house on 17th Street and Dixie Boulevard in Odessa.
He said he did what any person would and immediately tried to help.
"I thought about it and looked back and there was more smoke. I just went in reverse and parked almost in the middle of the street. I opened the door and yelled, `Is there anybody inside?'” said Espinoza.
Despite the heavy smoke and hot temperatures from the fire, Espinoza was able to help rescue the homeowner, most of her dogs and pet birds before the fire department got on scene.
“There was a fire already in the front, right room. There was a lot of smoke all over the place. I went to the left of the house and kept on screaming. An old lady showed up, she was disoriented and very nervous,” said Espinoza.
He said he got a quick adrenaline rush, which helped ease his fear of a possible explosion while helping with the rescue.
"She was screaming that she had her dogs in the room where the fire was. There was no way to get inside. The smoke was too thick, and you can't breathe in the smoke. It is just very hard. I kept trying to go back in, but I could not do it,” said Espinoza.
According to the City of Odessa's Fire Department, the fire at the home started in a front bedroom.
When fire crews got on the scene Saturday afternoon, they quickly got the fire put out and under control.
Odessa Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Quentin Dobmeier said the fire did cause heavy damage in the bedroom and a hallway in the house.
"There was a bystander, I do not know if it was a neighbor or somebody coming by that assisted one of the homeowners in getting an animal out of the house. There was one animal that did not make it. The rest of the birds and other animals in the backyard survived just fine,” said Chief Dobmeier.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.