A brave pensioner died in a vain attempt to rescue his son’s Golden Retriever dog after it dashed inside the burning family home.
The tragedy happened in the town of Hamminkel, North Rhine Westphalia state, Germany, when a blaze suddenly engulfed the home of a family of five last week.
All of the family members plus the dog had managed to rescue themselves.
But without warning, the dog suddenly ran back inside the blazing building, with the pensioner identified only as 74-year-old Hermann M. running after it.
A police spokesman confirmed that the man had run back inside because he wanted to save the dog.
When fire crews arrived, they had gone inside with respirators and managed to find the man and a short while later the dog.
However both were dead despite reanimation attempts.
A neighbour said that the dog belonged to the man’s son named Marcel, and that the old man had often looked after it.
All four family members that survived were treated for the effects of smoke inhalation at the local hospital as well as two of the 68 firefighters tackled the blaze who also suffered from smoke inhalation. It reportedly took four hours to bring the blaze under control and police are investigating.
The blaze apparently started on the first floor of the home for unknown reasons, and it is believed the man collapsed after breathing in smoke.