Christiansburg Police Captain details saving man, 4 dogs from burning home

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) UPDATE

The Christiansburg Fire Department has determined that this fire was caused by improperly disposed smoking materials.

ORIGINAL

A Christiansburg Police Captain is being called a hero after saving a man and four dogs from a burning building on Hill Street.

Captain Doug Weddle was only a few hundred yards away from the house when the call came in, as it's just up the hill from the Police Department.

Captain Weddle said he can remember how hot the front of the home was when he tried to get inside.

So he went around back, finding four dogs scratching the door to get away from the smoke and fire. He immediately kicked the door in.

Captain Weddle remembered, "One of the animals actually turned around and went back by me as if it was trying to tell me, 'My owner's inside.'"

He found a man sleeping on his bed, just feet from the flames.

Captain Weddle said he got in and out, despite the thick, black smoke.

He explained, "As I came out and the fresh air hit me, I got sick pretty quickly and I went down on the ground, had some difficulty breathing, so my guys threw me in a car and took me to the local hospital and had me checked out."

He was treated for smoke inhalation.

He said the fire gave him the worst sore throat of his life.

But the newly promoted Captain never even considered taking Monday off.

"I'm not the typical person to lay on the couch, that's not my style so the 5:00 alarm went off this morning and I felt it was time to come to work," Captain Weddle said.

While many would call what he did heroic, Captain Weddle said he disagrees.

"I've been in some debate with my supervision most of the day over that title," he said. "I personally don't feel that I'm hero material. I feel that I do the same job that a thousand other cops in America do every single day. I'm glad I was here, but I certainly don't believe I'm a hero."

The young man living in the home and his family may disagree with that sentiment.

Captain Weddle said he's talked with the unidentified man's family, but not him.

He hopes to talk to him sometime.

Luckily, he wasn't injured and didn't even need medical attention.