Without the help of his loyal companion, a disabled man would likely have perished in the fire that gutted his Jacksonville, Florida home on Tuesday.
Jerry Williams credits his dog, Sweetie, a Sheltie/Pomeranian mix, and a home care nurse that happened to be driving by his home as he yelled for help with saving his life.
On Tuesday evening, Williams, who relies on a wheelchair to get around, was laying in bed smoking a cigarette. Nodding off, some embers from his cigarette fell, igniting a towel beneath him. Immediately, Sweetie jumped onto the bed, waking him up.
As flames grew, separating Williams from his wheelchair, he was forced to pull himself around on the floor.
He told Jacksonville’s News4, “You know I was thinking I’m on the floor, there is supposed to be air down here and it was so dark, but I couldn’t see so I crawled and I hit my head on the cabinets, I couldn’t see the door, so I hollered for her, and I heard her jingle from her tags, and followed that to the back door and got out.”
Once outside, Williams began calling out for help. A home care nurse on her way to a nearby patient’s home heard his cries for help and pulled him to safety.
If not for Sweetie’s quick action and guiding Williams outside, he might not have survived.
“She stays with me everywhere I go, she’s with me 24/7, I don’t go nowhere without her, we are connected at the hip,” said Williams.