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Dog reunites with hero firefighter who saves him in a house fire

Posted at 6:52 PM, Jul 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-20 21:52:27-04
The Bakersfield Fire Department rescued a dog from a house fire on Wednesday. The video of the rescue was shared on social media and quickly went viral. 23ABC’s Adam Bowles gives us the story on how the dog is doing today and an emotional reunion. 
 
The day in the life of a firefighter can be pretty busy.  But on the force, one perspective was changed.
 
Matt Smith may be a little timid at first, but he has a big heart.  On Wednesday, the Bakersfield Fire Department responded to a house fire, where Matt rescued a dog whimpering from behind a couch.  He was not moving, so Matt put him on oxygen and did CPR bringing him back to life. 
 
"It's always good to do something for somebody else," Matt says.   "We knew the owner was really concerned about him and asking us to look for him so its good that it turned out good."
 
He had no idea that the video showing his heroic deed would be shown all over the world.
 
"I feel good, i have three girls at home and my wife showed them the video and they were pretty happy about it and that made me feel better," Matt says.
 
Adam Bowles also had a surprise for him, a chance for a reunion.
 
So at the Bakersfield Veterinary Hospital, something amazing happened. 2 year old Jack, and his owner Jeff Garnett, who is still wearing the smoke filled clothes from yesterday, met the man who brought them so much joy.
 
"You know like i said i cant thank you guys enough," Jeff says.  "He was unable to do anything with himself. If it wasn’t for these guys, these firemen, getting him out, he wouldn’t be here.  We wouldn’t be standing here now. Hes been my number one concern."
 
A man that was a little shy, but did something powerful to help others.
 
"I feel good, its good to see you guys happy, and I'm glad I could help out," Matt says. 
 
Today Jack was cleared to be taken off of oxygen by the Bakersfield Veterinary hospital and the Garnetts will be staying at the Marriott downtown until they figure out their next steps moving forward.