Off-duty Texas firefighter saves neighbor from burning house

Corpus Christi crewmembers also rescued a woman and a dog


By Leila Merrill

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Corpus Christi Firefighter David Cantu was off-duty Wednesday morning when he rescued a neighbor from a house fire, KRISTV reported.

The 18-year veteran of the department was just starting his day when he smelled smoke. He got in his truck, and at the home, he saw someone in a second-story window.

“He was actually leaning out the window on his phone, and there was smoke coming out,” Cantu said. “The motto of the fire department is, ‘always seek an opportunity to help.’ When I saw someone in need, it was automatically just get out here and see what we can do to help these guys out.”

With another neighbor’s ladder, Cantu helped the man out of the building.

But the man’s mother and dog were still inside.

“I walked to the front door and kicked the front door open, tried to make entry. There was a lot of heat and smoke in that area,” Cantu said.

Cantu tried to find another way in.

“There was a lot of heat and smoke coming out when I opened it, so there wasn’t a lot we could do without equipment,” he said.

A CCFD crew arrived and rescued the woman and the dog.

She was transported to the San Antonio Military Medical Center burn unit, and as of Thursday, was in critical condition.

The man was treated and released, and the dog is fine.

“I just thank God that I was here at the right time, at the right place, and able to help,” said Cantu.

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