San Diego

Young Man Rushes Into Flaming Home to Save Family Pet

Two men took action to save others when fire broke out

A man named Blaze performed a heroic act Tuesday, rushing into a burning home to rescue his neighbor's dog trapped inside.

Cell phone video shows the home on Bonita View Drive turned into a ball of fire at 6:47 pm. Tuesday. The fire sent plumes of black smoke above San Diego's South Bay.

Nextdoor neighbor Mark Spinelli says the homeowner Simon Bodilla and his family's dog were there when Bodilla did something incredible. 

“Simon, thinking more of his neighbors than himself, than his own house, came to the neighbor’s houses and our house knocked on our door to get out,” Spinelli said. 

Images: Bonita House Fire

Spinelli says at one point he grabbed a hose and pointed it at Bodilla's home but was stopped. 

“Simon walking away turns around and tells me, ‘Not my house, yours,’” Spinelli recalled.

Bodilla was more concerned about their homes, rushing to tell them to evacuate, instead of worrying about his house, neighbors said.

As the flames grew and Bodilla worried his son-in-law's dog named Hank had perished him the flames. Little did he know someone was running up a canyon to help. 

Blaze Benami broke in through the back of the home and found the dog cowering under smoke and flames. Benami thinks the dog may have been trying to go further into the home to look for his owner who was already out. 

“I ran into the flames, grabbed him and ran down the canyon,” Benami said. “Then came back here to reunite him with his owner.” 

According to his family, Bodilla was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries. His son-in-law arrived to thank the community that stepped up when they needed it the most.

Spinelli said his heart still goes out to his dear neighbor. 

“What do you do, where do you go, who will help you,” Spinelli asked. “Well Simon, I think your neighbors are going to help you.”

It is unclear what may have started the fire.

Contact Us