- Associated Press - Friday, August 8, 2014

COMMERCE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - A rookie letter carrier went above and beyond the call of duty when he helped rescue two pit bulls from a Detroit-area house fire.

Brandon Messerschmidt of Hartland saw flames coming from an attached garage on his route Thursday, the Detroit Free Press (https://on.freep.com/1vku4Zf ) reported. The U.S. Postal Service worker of three months saw owner Mark Ruggles trying to use a hose to extinguish the fire. Ruggles left his two pit bulls, Roscoe and Diesel, inside of the home because he was afraid they would run away.

Messerchmidt, 32, said he went into the house to rescue the barking dogs, but Ruggles had already gotten them out by the time Messerchmidt was inside.

“I was a bit afraid at first,” he said. “They kind of drill into our heads in the mail academy that a dog is a mailman’s enemy.”

Although Messerchmidt said he likes dogs and has one of his own, this was his first encounter with dogs on the job. He said any fear of Roscoe and Diesel wouldn’t have kept him from trying to save them.

Messerchmidt took care of the pit bulls while Ruggles turned his attention back to the fire. The letter carrier first tried to corral the dogs in his truck, and eventually brought them into a neighbor’s home. He said Roscoe and Diesel didn’t show any signs of hostility throughout the rescue effort.

Sheryl Stahl, who lives next door to Ruggles, thinks Messerchmidt is a hero and deserves recognition for going into someone else’s home to save two pit bulls.

Ruggles has since called the Postal Service to share his gratitude for Messerchmidt’s help.

But Messerchmidt doesn’t think what he did was that spectacular. He said he hopes someone would do that same for him if he was in Ruggles’ position.

Ruggles’ wife, Deborah, said the house is mostly intact except for the charred garage.


Information from: Detroit Free Press, https://www.freep.com

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