SULPHUR SPRINGS, Texas - A Sulphur Springs man says he's glad his dog was right by his side when it counted most. His Bull Terrier woke him up after the house caught fire. He got out with minor injuries.
To describe it as a strong bond might be an understatement. The Sulphur Springs dog owner says he wouldn't be here to share his story if it were not for Rocky.
Fernando Montes de Oca woke up during the fire that destroyed much of his Sulphur Springs home.
"I feel like God gave me a second chance," he said.
Montes de Oca says Rocky, his Bull Terrier he’s had since he was a pup, gets the credit for what likely saved his life.
"I fell asleep. And the next thing you know, I kept hearing my dog barking, barking, barking," he recalled. "All of the sudden, the window popped. Boom! Pop! I said, ‘What the hell is going on?’ I thought I was in a nightmare or something, right? I woke up. What’s going on? All I see are flames coming through the top of the window to the top of the door."
It was early on Good Friday. Montes de Oca suffered a severe burn to his hand during the next moments. He recalls how Rocky reacted through it all.
"My first instinct was run to the door open up the door and get out of there. Well when I did that, I open the door and it burned my hand," he said. "When I opened it up, all I see is just flames everywhere outside. So I had to run through the flames. When I ran through the flames, my dog was just barking. He was just hysterical."
Montes de Oca says the preliminary finding is that an overloaded power strip likely sparked the fire that caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage. However, he says it’s no comparison when he considers he might not be here if it were not for Rocky.
"Even my sister, my dad, everybody was crying and saying, ‘God gave you a second chance,’" he said. "If I had stayed asleep one more minute, I think I wouldn’t be here telling my story, to tell you the truth."
Montes de Oca was treated at Medical City Plano, but he's expected to make a full recovery.
After exposure to smoke and flames, Rocky himself needed observation. But he quickly showed signs of being unharmed.