Off-duty fire chief saves dogs from burning kennel

An area fire chief and his wife saved five dogs from their neighbor’s burning kennel Sunday afternoon.

White Horse Fire Chief Rodney Gossert and his wife Amy were driving on their way home from church when they noticed smoke and then flames coming from a kennel behind a home on the 500 block of Springville Road in Salisbury Township.

Five golden retrievers were inside and trapped. The couple called 911 and opened the pen so the dogs could escape.

Four dogs ran out, but the fifth would not budge.

“It was to the point we had to get her out,” Rodney said.

Rodney and Amy then reached in and pulled the dog to safety.

“It was getting to hot to be there with the flames,” Rodney said.

Rodney’s fire company responded along with others in the surrounding area. The fire was under control in a matter of minutes, Rodney said.

All five dogs, including two puppies, were checked out by a veterinarian, and are expected to be okay. One puppy was being held by the kennel’s owner until it could be given as a Christmas present.

“It was real cool that nothing happened to that puppy and they could still have their Christmas,” Amy said.

A faulty heat lamp has been ruled the cause of the fire.

Rodney estimates close to $10,000 in damage. The kennel and attached shed is a total loss.

The kennel’s owner did not wish to comment on camera, but did say now is a rough time for his family and he is thankful for the Gossert’s life-saving efforts.

“I would do it again if I had to. It’s just what you do. First instinct: go help,” Amy said.

“It’s neighbors helping neighbors,” Rodney said. “That’s what we were doing.”

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