MEXICALI, BAJA CALIFORNIA (January 11, 2020).- Mario escaped certain death when his home in Mexicali, Baja California caught fire and the first thing he did when he was safe was to look for his dog Gordo, whom he managed to rescue.
The fire, apparently the product of a short circuit, occurred on January 7 at two in the morning, in the house where they both live in the Ampliación Nacionalista neighborhood. “And the worst thing is that the house was already on fire and the man would not go out,” recalled Soledad Lamas, Mario’s neighbor for more than 30 years.
“To tell you the truth,” she said, ” we believed that he was not going to come out .”
And although the neighbors shouted at him from the street, Mario could never hear them because he is deaf and mute.
“You can imagine the despair of my neighbors and the people, we were all yelling and he was not able to listen to us,” said Kayla, Mario’s daughter.
What woke the man up was the smell of burning wood and plastic from the wheel cups that he sold in the Virreyes neighborhood. After coming out of the flames and being helped by the firefighters, Mario saw his two daughters, whom he asked about his pet, Gordo, a pit bull who has lived with him for four years.
“I was really sad. Then my sister listened to the dog barking and I honestly told her I don’t think so, it must be a neighbor’s dog ”, Kayla recalled. The canine was under Mario’s pick-up truck, and when he used a hose to put out the fire, the dog ran and went out to the street until he reached his owner, who hugged him, an image that his neighbor Jonathan Bobadilla, a science student, immortalized with his cellphone.
Not knowing about Gordo, “I felt my heartbeat going down, and when he looked at me, I screamed with happiness and I felt a huge relief to be able to see him,” Mario signed. As a result of that photograph, Tijuana residents and even the mayor of Mexicali, Marina del Pilar Avila, offered Mario immediate help to rebuild his home that resulted considerably damaged.