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THORNTON, Colo. — A tiny eight-pound dog somehow survived a massive explosion that leveled a home and killed a Thornton man Thursday afternoon.

The unlikely survival was possible thanks to a courageous rescue by a neighbor and his son.

“You never expect to hear something that loud,” said Robert Russell, who heard the explosion next door on Tuesday afternoon. “I mean it shook the house.”

After feeling the blast, Robert Russell and his son Noah jumped their back fence and ran toward the flames.

“I jumped on top of the trailer and then on to the rubble and started calling for people,” Robert said. “Just to see if they were OK.”

Though they didn’t hear any people, they did hear a dog.

“I saw the flames and I could hear yelping and barking,” Noah said. “I had a fire extinguisher in my hand so I started moving toward the flames just trying to clear a path for myself to get through. At that point the dog walked out and kind of met me half way. I picked up some cloth. Wrapped it around the dog really fast. We were probably a good two or three feet away from the flames.”

The dog Noah saved is an eight-pound Chihuahua named Snoopy, and she wasn’t in very good shape.

“(She) was like … almost nothing left of (her) hair,” Noah said. “Blood everywhere, burn marks.”

“She’s pretty tiny so I’m pretty sure she was flying through the air with that explosion,” said Heather Plate, a Veterinary Technician at Eastlake Veterinary Clinic.

Heather helped treat Snoopy, and despite the dog’s extensive injuries she says she’s expected to make a full recovery thanks to Noah and his Dad.
“She had an angel watching over her,” Heather said. “There’s just no way that she should have survived that.”

Eastlake Veterinary Clinic and Northside Emergency Pet Clinic are both offering Snoopy free, charity care. The homeowners say they are grateful for the assistance and the courageous rescue after losing everything else in the explosion.