Neighbors help get homeowner, dog out of burning home

Neighbors save homeowner from house fire
Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 5:57 PM MDT|Updated: Sep. 8, 2022 at 6:53 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - A motorcycle rider didn’t hesitate when he saw flames overtaking a home Wednesday night.

“We pulled over and I ran through the garage,” Peter Hanenberg told 11 News reporter Natalie Devereaux. “The guy was standing inside, so I pulled him -- well, he came out with me, and then I got a hose from the neighbor. Was on the inside spraying until I couldn’t see or breathe, and then I came out and fought the fire from the front.”

Firefighters tell 11 News it took them six minutes to respond to the home on Snowberry Circle after receiving the first 911 call. The neighborhood is on the northeast side of Colorado Springs.

While waiting for fire crews to arrive, Hanenberg said others jumped in to battle the flames.

“Neighbors came and helped with other hoses.”

When asked what compelled him to rush towards the burning building, Hanenberg told Devereaux he knew he had to do something.

“Just make sure everybody inside is good. I just had to go in and check and make sure there’s no one in danger. I just knew I had to help.”

His and the other neighbors’ efforts may have helped the pros quickly control the fire.

“By the time they [firefighters] came, the flames were all the way to the roof. The whole front was down and doused, and then they came and were able to knock the roof out.”

Along with the homeowner, Hanenberg helped rescue a dog from the house. No injuries were reported for the dog, while Hanenberg says the man went to the hospital. According to firefighters, he was suffering from minor smoke inhalation. Two of the good Samaritans who helped fight the blaze were also examined for smoke inhalation but did not require hospitalization.

The house fire is now under investigation. Fire crews believe it started outside the home but say most of the damage was inside.

“I haven’t been inside the whole house, so I can’t explain how much damage there is,” said Lt. Joey Buttenwieser with the Colorado Springs Fire Department. He told 11 News the occupants would not be able to stay there, at least for now.

Hanenberg said he’s just relieved no one was seriously hurt.

“Just glad everyone was alright,” he said.