Life is full of interesting coincidences. If you are careful and observant, you sometimes notice neat little patterns in the world around us. The story of Rob Lee may just be one of those interesting coincidences that have a wonderful story behind it.
Rob Lee is a firefighter in Southeast Fresno.
Fresno, California has been the stomping grounds for Lee for his entire life. As a city in the US, the Fourth of July celebrations can get quite wild. This most recent holiday is a prime example of the craziness that can occur. With fireworks and fire abounding, there is always the likelihood of accidents.
Lee and his team responded to a call of a burning home.
A home on First and Platt Street in Fresno had erupted into flames after an accident involving fireworks. When moments like this happen, firefighters are the people who do the tough and dirty work of saving. Captured on helmet cam footage, Lee walks into the home and you can immediately tell it’s a losing fight.
While the home itself was doomed, there was still saving to do.
The team realized that there was a dog that was trapped in the burning home and got to work immediately. Through the thick, billowing smoke, the helmet cam catches sight of the terrified dog in the home.
“There was a firefighter already inside tending to a dog and they were trying to get the dog out,” Lee said. “The dog had already bit that firefighter, so they were trying to get the dog out of the structure safely.”
The dog wasn’t tiny, either, making the rescue a team effort.
The dog had already bit one of the team since it was so terrified and confused. Knowing that the family who owned the home would give anything to see their dog again, they proceeded with the rescue and was able to successfully pull the dog from the burning home. With wisdom, Lee said:
“Houses can be rebuilt but dogs can’t be replaced.”
While the rescue is wonderful, it isn’t the whole story.
The wild realization that Lee had was enough to shock him. Twenty-one years ago, to the day, Lee’s own home was on fire as a young kid. When the firefighters came, they went into his home and brought out his childhood dog for him from the flames.
“I was that child on the doorstep and a firefighter was giving my dog to me,” he said.
The moment is an incredible “coincidence” that changed a young boy’s path.
When Lee had that moment happen to him as a young boy, he knew that he wanted to be a firefighter. After finishing high school, Lee went on to join the fire academy at Fresno City College and finally, the Fresno Fire’s Explorer Program. Lee fought forest fires and learned until he landed his dream job as a Fresno Firefighter.
The incredible moment from years ago led to an event that changed another family’s life.
Saving one boy’s dog years ago resulted in that same boy saving another family’s dog years later, on the same day. It seems that many of our actions, whether intended or not, have unseen consequences. We often forget that those consequences can just as easily be good.
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