Bridgeport fire victims share terrifying details of escape, credit man now in coma as a hero

A family grieving the loss of four pet dogs killed in an apartment fire in Bridgeport is crediting a man who helped rescue them from the burning building. That man is now in a coma after suffering serious injuries.

News 12 Staff

May 12, 2022, 4:14 PM

Updated 737 days ago

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A family grieving the loss of four pet dogs killed in an apartment fire in Bridgeport is crediting a man who helped rescue them from the burning building. That man is now in a coma after suffering serious injuries.
Jose Rivera, 28, known as Jay to his friends and family, is credited with rescuing 54-year-old multiple sclerosis patient Cindy Mason and other residents from the fire Wednesday.
"I started screaming, 'Somebody help me, the house is on fire!'" Mason said.
Mason, who is in a wheelchair, says Rivera rushed into the burning building and carried her out to safety, then went back inside and attempted to rescue four dogs who were trapped.
Mason says Rivera managed to rescue one of five dogs and got everyone out of the building. He suffered smoke inhalation, which has left him critically injured and in a coma at Bridgeport Hospital.
The family says they are praying Rivera pulls through.
"He's a hero in my heart. He tried to save me, and he tried to save my dogs," said Brian Savage.
Mason's caregiver, 60-year-old Brian Savage, says he is heartbroken four of his dogs died.
"I couldn't get them out. I tried, I yelled, the heat was just barreling on me," said Savage.
The family is staying with longtime friend Venus Rogers, of Stratford.
Rogers says her dog Bella has stuck by the family ever since they arrived.
The family says they lost everything in the fire, including Mason's wheelchair.


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