SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — Nick Wilson was in the right place at the right time Tuesday morning.
The Munroe Dairy employee delivery driver was making his usual rounds when he saw smoke pouring from a home on Melissa Circle.
Wilson didn’t think twice upon realizing that his customers weren’t home and their dog was trapped inside.
“We checked doors and windows trying to get in,” Wilson recalled. “We went around to the back and I just used a big potted plant … I threw it through the window.”
Since Wilson regularly delivers to the home, the dog knew who he was.
“She knows me,” Wilson said. “I give her dog treats every week.”
“For us as milkmen, we establish relationships more with dogs than people, because we see more dogs than humans,” he explained.
Wilson eventually found the dog, named Daisy, and carried her to safety.
Smithfield Deputy Fire Chief Steven Quattrini tells 12 News the fire has been deemed accidental. Quattrini said the fire was likely caused by linseed oil rags that were disposed of improperly.
The woman who lived there rushed home shortly after Wilson called her and explained what had happened.
“She was hysterical,” he said. “It was pretty upsetting to watch her house just burn.”
Even though her home sustained significant damage, Wilson said the woman was relieved that Daisy was safe.
“She was grateful that I got the dog out,” he said. “[The dog] was their most precious item in the house.”
Wilson said the ordeal left him distraught for hours, adding that it gave him a newfound appreciation for the firefighters who put their lives on the line each and every day.
“I didn’t feel like a hero, I just felt sick after watching it happen,” he recalled. “Kudos to all of them … it’s something I could never do.”
Wilson said he’s heartbroken for the woman and her husband, but hopes he will get to see them again after their home is rebuilt.