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Woodland Woman Loses Everything But Dog In House Fire

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WOODLAND (CBS13) — Carolina Hernandez was sleeping inside her Woodland home when her dog’s barks woke her up. She realized her house was on fire as an officer banged on her door.

Right now her tiny dog Merlyn is about all Carolina has left.

“I lost everything,” she told CBS13 on Monday.

But despite being homeless, Carolina feels pretty lucky that she too didn’t perish in the fire that ripped through her home early Sunday morning.

And she says the credit goes to Woodland Police Officer Brian Olson.

“I smelled smoke from a couple blocks away,” he said. “When I got there the flames were coming out the window.”

Carolina says when she ran toward the front door she saw the flames and froze. That is until she realized help had already arrived.

“The officer’s banging on the door saying ‘open up the door!’ she said. “And I opened it up and he just grabbed me.”

“My primary concern was to get her out of the house,” Olson said.

But Officer Olson ended up following Carolina back into the burning home to rescue her beloved Merlyn.

“I went back in trying to get her and whoever else was in there out of the house,” he said.

Despite the fast-spreading flames, all three made it out safely.

“He (Merlyn) was the first one out and I was the second one,” she said.

Carolina’s now grateful for the officer who saved her and her best friend.

“I would give him a big hug and a kiss,” she said.

Olson says he was just in the right place at the right time.

“It could have been anybody that was working that night and they would have done the same thing,” he said.

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