By Jesse Sarles

(CBS4) – A heroic deputy jumped into action recently when he responded to a car fire in a neighborhood. It happened in Douglas County, and Deputy Michael Gregorek wound up pulling a large dog out of the shattered back windshield of the SUV.

“As tacky as it is to say, I’m a dog parent. My only child is my dog. So I would have done the same thing whether it be baby, human, dog, cat. A life is a life and you kind of treat it as such in a situation like that,” Gregorek said in a video released by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

The dramatic video was captured on Gregorek’s body cam and patrol car camera on Jan. 22. It shows him arriving in his patrol car to a smoking vehicle. The dog’s owner appears panicked as he informs the deputy that the dog is inside the car, which is full of smoke. One person is in the midst of spraying a fire extinguisher at the SUV. The doors are locked and the deputy smashes a side window and then the back windshield with a retractable baton.

Seconds later the dog, named Hank, comes up to the back window and the owner tries to pull him out but is overwhelmed by the black smoke pouring out of the car. He yells “Omigod!” and moves away. Gregorek then reaches in and with much effort pulls Hank free. He runs over to a patch of snow with Hank in his arms and drops Hank in it as he proceeds to cough intensely from the smoke he has just breathed in.

“I just went in there, grabbed on and his body had already started to tense up so I knew he was really in a bad way, and so I thought only at that point ‘he’s coming out with me,'” Gregorek said. “Nothing else really mattered at that point than getting Hank out of the car.”

A veterinarian who lives in the neighborhood checked the dog out, and Hank appeared uninjured. It didn’t take long for him to be running around in the snow again.

Watch the complete video from the sheriff’s office below:

Jesse Sarles