Man credits dog with saving his life in devastating house fire
Tyler Revel was woken by his dog as flames neared his bedroom.
Tyler Revel had fallen asleep in bed while watching football on Sunday when he was woken up by his dog nudging his head and whimpering, the Kansas resident said.
His home, Revel quickly realized, was on fire.
"When I woke up, my bathroom, which is right across the hall from my bedroom, was already engulfed in flames," Revel, 41, of Wichita, told ABC News. "I couldn't see in the house at all, it was all filled with black smoke."
He grabbed his dog, a 6-year-old pit bull named Monroe, and ran out of the house.
"All the windows in the house were popping and cracking," he said. "I think we got out just in time."
Revel credits Monroe with saving his life and considers her his hero.
"She's a very loyal dog, and I guess this obviously proves it," he said.
Neighbors reported hearing explosions that evening and called 911, according to ABC Witchita affiliate KAKE. A propane tank may have exploded in the fire, the station said.
The Witchita Fire Department, which responded to the scene around 6:30 p.m. local time, reported that "heavy fire" was visible from the back of the home.
Firefighters were quickly able to extinguish the flames, and no other homes were damaged or any injuries reported, according to KAKE. Though Revel's house, which he had lived in for the past nine years, was destroyed.
"I'm just taking it day by day," Revel said. "I don't even know how to explain how I feel, it's just like starting all over from scratch."
"It's a very humbling experience," he added.
Firefighters were also unable to find his cat, Boo, and it's unclear if she survived the incident, he said. In the days since the fire, Revel has been calling animal shelters and checking around the remains of the house and neighborhood trying to find her.
"No luck yet," he said. "I don't want to give up, but it's kind of a hard thing of not knowing."
Revel is staying with a friend for now as he figures out his next steps, including clearing out the rubble, and is grateful for an "overwhelming outpour of support and love." He figures he will want to start fresh in a new home with Monroe, rather than rebuild on the property.
Revel said he hopes sharing his story helps people to view his dog's breed, which has a reputation for being aggressive, in a new light.
"Pit bulls are not as bad as people make them out to be," he said.
Wichita Fire Department Battalion Chief Jose Ocadiz told ABC News the origin of the fire was determined to be the home's back deck. The occupant reported smoking a cigarette on the deck earlier that afternoon and the cause of the fire was possible careless smoking, he said. Revel reiterated he was told the cause was inconclusive and possibly electrical.
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