Woman runs into burning house to rescue 2 dogs in Plantation

PLANTATION, FLA. (WSVN) - A Plantation resident made a risky rescue after she ran into her burning home to save her two dogs.

Bernice Parisi found smoke billowing from her home along Southwest 167th Terrace, at around 6:40 p.m., Tuesday.

She had gone out to eat while roof work was being done to her home.

“A bunch of smoke was coming out,” she said. “I open that door. I mean, it was just a poof of big, white smoke.”

The senior citizen said she only had one thought: she had to rush into the home to save her dogs Foxy and Spanky.

“I ran in and got the dogs out. They come first,” she said. “They’re my babies.”

She said ever since Tony Parisi, her husband, passed away a year ago, her dogs have meant everything to her.

Parisi lives at the home with her two dogs and her 93-year-old mother, who recently moved in after her husband passed away.

“It’s been the most horrible, horrible year I have had all my life. My husband’s ashes are in the house. I kept thinking, ‘Oh, my God, please don’t burn them,'” she said. “If that fire would have rampaged through that hallway into my bedroom … I have his picture up there. I have his hats that he wore.”

Parisi was able to get her dogs out to safety and left the rest up to firefighters.

“We arrived on scene, and we found heavy smoke coming out the front door,” said Deputy Chief Joel Gordon with the Plantation Fire Department. “We made entry, and we were able to knock the fire down fairly quickly.”

“I saw all those trucks coming by, and I realized there was smoke coming from her roof,” added a neighbor in the area, “so I ran outside to make sure that she is safe because she is not only my neighbor, but she’s a good friend of mine.”

Parisi will be staying with neighbors in the meantime.

“I just can’t thank them enough. I really can’t,” said Parisi. “Thank God for the firemen and the policemen, too. They all were a big help. I can’t say enough about them.”

She said she is thankful what is most precious to her was saved.

“If I found them dead when I went in there, I would have wanted to die,” said Parisi. “Those dogs are my life right now and my mother, of course.”

Meanwhile, firefighters are unsure if the roof work being done to Parisi’s home caused the fire.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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