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Colorado deputy rescues dog from burning SUV

Body camera video captures the event
Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Gregorek's body camera video shows a dog in the back of a vehicle in Castle Rock, Colo., on Jan. 22. Gregorek is being praised for smashing the windows of the burning SUV and rescuing a frightened dog in a neighborhood south of Denver. AP Photo

CASTLE ROCK, Colorado — A sheriff's deputy is being praised for smashing the windows of a burning SUV and rescuing a frightened dog in a neighborhood south of Denver.

Douglas County Deputy Michael Gregorek's body camera video from Jan. 22, which was released Thursday, shows him arriving on the scene as smoke pours from the driver's side window of the SUV. The owner frantically yells that his dog Hank is somewhere inside the locked vehicle.

Gregorek uses his retractable baton to smash a side window and then the rear window before pulling Hank out and quickly carrying him to a nearby snowbank.

“I just went in there and grabbed on. And his body had already kind of started to tense up, so I knew he was really in a bad way. ... Nothing else really mattered at that point other than getting Hank out of the car,” Gregorek said in an interview released by the sheriff's department.

A neighbor told the deputy his wife was a veterinarian, but by the time she got home, Hank was already sprinting around and ready to play.

“I’m a dog parent. My only child is my dog, so I would have done the same thing, whether it be baby, human, dog, cat. A life is a life, and you kind of treat it as such in a situation like that," Gregorek said.