He woke to the sound of two-year-old Gucci’s barking and the smell of smoke. With the help of his neighbors, Rutonski and Gucci made it out safely as the house continued to burn.
Rutonski, 58, was taken to the hospital to check for smoke inhalation, and credits Gucci with saving his life.
“As they say, man’s best friend is his dog,” Rutonski told Seven News.
“I don’t think he’d be alive if it wasn’t for his dog,” Sukker said.
Most of the house, which Rutonski was renting, has been destroyed, with the roof partially collapsed, Nine News reported.
Images show damaged walls, charred debris covering the floor, and blackened beams scattered across the yard.
The fire may have started by a cigarette or candle burning in the back room. Rutonski said he didn’t hear his smoke alarm, which may have been because the roof caved in, or because it simply wasn’t working in the first place.
“Smoke alarms are best, but dogs are good too,” a fire official told Nine News.