Dogs save couple from San Benito house fire

·2 min read

Jun. 22—SAN BENITO — Enriqueta Ramos believes she owes her life to her three dogs.

At about 2 a.m. Friday, fire broke out in her brick hacienda-style home in the gated Sombra del Mesquite neighborhood.

"We're very lucky to be alive," Ramos, 90, a retired university professor, said Wednesday. "We were awakened by our dogs. Our dogs saved us."

Wake up call

The dogs' barking woke her husband, Damian Jimenez, 75, who ran outside to try to put out the fire coming out of a corner of the house.

Then her dogs woke her up, Ramos said.

"There were flames coming out of the top of the house and smoke," she said. "It started up in the ceiling and spread really fast."

Inside, smoke was filling up the house.

"The smoke was so thick," she said.

Total loss

Outside, she and her husband watched as fire engulfed their home.

"It was our forever home," she said of the house she and her husband built in 2003.

In her garage, fire destroyed their two cars.

"It was very, very, very quick," she said. "It went before our eyes. Nobody could believe it. In two hours, we had no home. We were homeless."

For about two hours, San Benito firefighters worked to put out the blaze, citing an electrical short circuit as the cause of the fire, she said.

Ramos said she and her husband had insured their house and cars.

Looking for a house

Now, Rio Hondo schools Superintendent Ismael Garcia is lending Ramos and her husband a home.

Meanwhile, Amy Acres, her next-door neighbor, is lending them her car, Ramos said.

But for Ramos and her husband, it's been hard to rent a house.

"Nobody likes to have dogs," she said. "Our greatest concern are our dogs. If we wouldn't have had our dogs we'd probably be dead."