Eddie Torres was on duty when the call came in.
As Fox 4 News reports, Torres is a firefighter in Hillsborough County, Florida. He was working on Sunday night when the station got a call about a fire on the street where Torres lived. It took a moment for the husband and father to realize it was his own address.
Torres told WFTS that he realized his wife and 3-year-old son were trapped inside the burning house and immediately called home:
“I called her. All I could hear was screaming and panic and right there she couldn’t even talk. I heard the phone hang up.”
Fortunately, Torres’ wife and son were able to escape the fire. But that was the only good news. Not only was the home destroyed, but the family’s dog wasn’t able to get out in time.
Torres was saddened by the loss of their dog, telling WFTS, “He was such a good dog and we know he’s in doggy heaven.”
Now, he and his family will have to rebuild, as they lost almost everything in the fire. His fellow firefighters have started a GoFundMe campaign to help, where they explained:
In the fire service, we call our brothers and sisters our second family. We respond to those we serve and see it from a different perspective . Then sometimes, one of our own will experience first hand what we fight on a daily basis…
Torres told Fox 4 that he’s humbled by the help he’s received:
“I want to say thank you to the community. People are reaching out and we don’t even know who they are.”
Authorities now know that the fire started in the garage and was related to an issue with the family car. However, the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Though they have some challenges ahead, Torres told WFTS that the experience was a reminder of what’s most important: “My situation, it’s devastating losing our dog and losing our home, but we can rebuild. Those things are replaceable.”