NewsLocal News


Coastal Bend family's dog saves daughter from house fire

Screen Shot 2023-01-11 at 4.32.14 AM.png
Posted at 9:09 AM, Jan 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-11 23:35:02-05

A local family’s house burned down on New Year Eve and they’re calling it nothing but a miracle.

At around 11:30 p.m. on New Year Eve, Jennifer Oleniczak said she woke up to a noise and her house on fire.

“We heard this huge loud banging on our door and like our wall," Oleniczak said. "So I shook him (my husband) and woke him up. He had put earplugs in for the fireworks. So he didn’t even hear the door and he was like 'what!'" Oleniczak said.

From there she said she ran to the back door and heard her neighbor yell her house was on fire. When she turned and looked out the door, her deck and the stairs completely on fire.
Yelling for her daughter and husband to get out. She then grabbed her Shih Tzo’s and six puppies.

“I started to run with them outside but I tripped and so I broke my fall. And so I started throwing the puppies out onto the patio and my husband was already off the deck so he was already grabbing the puppies and throwing them off," Oleniczak said.

In a matter of minutes, “there was a seven foot flame and I see my last two puppies catch fire and I screamed at my husband. I just yelled 'oh God save me.' And all of a sudden the fire just fell and I jumped," Oleniczak said.

After her husband and neighbors helped her up and into the street, the Oleniczak's 15-year old daughter Jaylee started screaming "Ollie, Ollie woke me up!"

Ollie, the Oleniczak's pitbull, had woken Jaylee up when the fire started and helped her get out in time.

“She said 'yes, that’s how I heard the door. Ollie came into the room. Where is Ollie.' So we couldn’t find him," said Oleniczak.

“He was my hero, he saved my daughters life. He was the best dog in the world," Oleniczak said.

The next day the family searched everywhere for Ollie. They checked the burnt house, posted all over social media, even local shelters, nothing until Jan. 9.

“And my husband went in and he found him right at my daughter’s bedside. At the foot of her bed like he collapsed from the smoke inhalation. And I just want to give him a big hug because had he not gone in there, Jaylee would have died," Oleniczak said.

The Oleniczaks lost seven dogs but was able to save four. She said officials don’t know what caused the fire.

The family has set up a GoFundMe.