It was the Lewis family’s first home. They finally didn’t have to rent anymore. Sure, it was a fixer-upper, but it was their fixer-upper. Then one night, their dream turned into a nightmare.
“To actually one day own a house instead of throwing all of my money away renting it, it was special to us because we did so much here as a family to build it up. It had a bad reputation when we first got it from the neighbors telling us stuff. They told me the best thing to do was just sell it and go. I told them no, I’m staying,” Walter Lewis told WANE’s Sara Wagner. “We managed to stay and work through it all because at the end of the day, it was going to be ours.”
When Walter got up for a glass of water in the middle of the night, he saw his dog behaving strangely. When Walter followed the dog, Rock, he was led to the horrifying truth…
Walter Lewis is a father of three. One night when his rheumatoid arthritis medication caused his mouth to become dry, he went to get a glass of water. That’s when he noticed that his 5-month-old American bulldog, named Rock, was behaving bizarrely.
“Whatever he was doing down there, it made a noise. I don’t know if he knocked something over or whatever, but it made enough noise for me to get on him. By the time I made it to the bottom of the stairs, he was running up the stairs and he doesn’t ever come up the stairs no matter what. I think that was his way of telling me we’ve got to go back up,” Walter says.
“I hadn’t seen any smoke or anything like that. I go down the stairs, and when I get to the bottom of the stairs, I see fire, and I immediately turn and start yelling for my wife to get up and get the kids up,” he says.
“I always keep all of my stuff — my phone, my knife, and everything — in my pocket. So, I took it out, had to cut the plastic off, and pried the window open and kicked the screen out,” Walter said. “Me being scared of heights and having my issues with my body, I just said forget it and thought about my family, I couldn’t let them burn up. So, I jumped off of the roof. I didn’t scoot to the edge, I just jumped. It knocked the wind out of me, but I had to get the ladder.”
“I went and got my ladder, put it back, and climbed up there. I had to carry my 9-month-old in my teeth, by his little sleeper. I had my daughter wrapped up around my arms, and I had to walk down. I had her hold her brother, and I went up there and got my other daughter. Then, I went up and got my wife. I tried to get my dog, but he just disappeared in the black smoke.”
“I called him my therapy dog. He also kept me on my toes and always wanted to play with me or run around. It’s crazy because he was like part of my family, he was like one of my kids.”
It goes without saying that Rock was hero much like his daddy. He may have given his life to protect his humans, but his legacy will live on through them.
See more of this father’s harrowing story below!
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