PITTSFIELD, Mass. (NEWS10) — Two dogs are OK after being pulled from an apartment fire on Christmas Day. Their rescue was thanks to an EMT who works nearby and rushed in when she saw the smoke and flames. 

Nicole Miller said that it all happened during a quick break during her busy Christmas shift with Action Ambulance Service. “I saw what appeared to be flames,” she said.” and “I went from where the garbage cans are over to the front door and saw the dogs.”

She saw two dogs inside, but no people. Not skipping a beat as the flames grew, the first responder forced her way into the apartment. “I weighed the risk really quick and realized life was more important, and I grabbed the two dogs,” she said. “One I grabbed initially was on the couch. That dog was very upset.”

She shared a photo of one of the two dogs she pulled from the blaze. When those dogs were safe, Miller bravely ventured back into the burning building not once, but twice more to make sure no humans were also trapped inside.

Miller accomplished the courageous feat within the three minutes between the initial 911 call and the arrival of firefighters. “It was a little stressful, but it all worked out,” she added, crediting Pittsfield firefighters and police officers for their quick response to the fire.

The homeowner, who did not wish to go on camera, told NEWS10’s Anya Tucker that he was deeply grateful to Miller for saving his dogs. He said the fire department believes the fire started in the kitchen while he and his family had gone out on Christmas. The dogs stayed at home. The family of 5 which was displaced by the fire was assisted by the Red Cross with temporary housing.

As for Miller, who has two dogs of her own, she says she’s just glad she was in the right place at just the right time. “We all have a purpose in life. For some, it’s helping others,” she said.