On August 17th the BCHF presented Dave Hawkins with a cheque for $4,000 to match funds raised on his behalf at a recent fundraiser. See Dave’s story below.
Burnaby man in hospital after racing into burning house to rescue dogs
By John Colebourn, The Province July 10, 2012
Dog lover Dave Hawkins knew there was only one thing to do when his Burnaby home caught fire.
He had to go in and rescue his two Doberman pinschers, Mercedes and Duke.
Hawkins, 32, remains in hospital suffering from burns to 40 per cent of his body after making the decision last week to go into his burning Royal Oak Avenue home to free up his trapped dogs.
He managed to get to Mercedes and pull her out, but she died on the way to the vets’ office from smoke inhalation. His pup, Duke, managed to escape from the burning home and was found a short time later.
Hawkins is the manager of Sailor Hagar’s Liquor Store in North Vancouver and on Monday co-workers spoke out about his tragedy and their plans to hold a fundraiser to help him rebuild his life.
The fire destroyed the entire home that Hawkins rented.
According to Sailor Hagar’s Brew Pub and Liquor Store co-owner Brian Riedlinger, all of Hawkins’ belongings were destroyed and he has no insurance.
“He was very close to those dogs,” Riedlinger said of Mercedes who gave birth to three pups that included Duke last year. “He took time off work to raise those three pups at home,” he added.
Hawkins found homes for the two pups and kept the third for himself. ”The dogs were his life,” said Riedlinger.
Riedlinger has been into the burn unit at VGH to see Hawkins. He has been heavily sedated with his head and upper body wrapped in gauze as doctors treat his burns. Family and friends have been at his bedside. His dog is being looked after by the SPCA while he recovers.
Riedlinger said he has been able to talk to him about what happened.
Hawkins recalls how he was working on his yard with a weed-whacker that was plugged into the house.
During the lawn work, he noticed smoke and fire coming out of his home. At that point Hawkins made the decision to dice with death and go after the dogs.
“He lived for his dogs and he risked his life and went in to try and save the dogs,” said Riedlinger. “You could never hold him back.”
A fundraiser and silent auction will be held during the evening of Aug. 4 at Sailor Hagar’s Brew Pub from 5 to 9 p.m. in North Vancouver (86 Semisch Avenue, a couple blocks from the SeaBus). The burger platter and beer special goes for $20. From 9 p.m. until close a band will be playing and admission is $5 or more by donation. For more information call: 604-984-3087