California Amazon Driver Helps Save Dog from Burning Car: ‘I Just Wanted to Try and Help’

Firefighter standing in front of a burned car - stock photo
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A daring Amazon delivery driver braved flames to help rescue a dog from the back of a burning vehicle in Merced, California, last week.

Ervin Ruhe Jr. was nearing the end of his work day when he noticed a car burning “on the side of the road near West 16th Street and Highway 99,” Modbee reported.

“It didn’t look like it was too bad yet but I was just hoping nobody was inside,” said Ruhe “I just wanted to try and help out if I was able to,” he said.

He retrieved a fire extinguisher from his van and attempted to douse the flames after a male passenger extracted a woman from the car, KTXL reported, citing an email from Amazon. However, he learned that the couple’s dog, a Chihuahua, was still trapped inside the car.

Ruhe was able to suppress the flames enough with the extinguisher, enabling him to unlock one of the vehicle’s rear doors and subsequently allowing the man to rescue his pooch, per Modbee.

A video of the aftermath, published by the Merced Sun-Star, shows the car still burning and Ruhe can be heard describing what had occurred.

“I got a dog out, out of the back [of the vehicle] for the owners, and the owners are safe. There’s nobody inside of it, and a fire truck is on its way,” said Ruhe. “I called the fire department.”

KTXL reported that “the fire department was able to fully extinguish the fire” and noted that, according to Amazon, there were no injuries.

Ruhe was praised for his actions in helping the couple and saving the Chihuahua.

“We are very grateful to Ervin for going above and beyond and helping out a community member and their pet while in distress,” a representative of Amazon, Navneet Kaur, said, according to KTXL.

“I just wanted to do the right thing and be a good citizen,” Ruhe said in an email that was provided to the outlet from Amazon. “I saw they needed help and so I acted quickly to do what I can.”

Ruhe said he had used the fire extinguisher once before when he stopped to help a farmer “extinguish [an] equipment fire burning near tall grass and gas cans,” per Modbee, meaning his dog rescue is not the only time he has demonstrated selflessness and a willingness to aid those in need.


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