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Murray family thankful after pets rescued from house fire

Posted at 5:44 PM, Aug 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-01 21:41:56-04

MURRAY, Utah — A family of five and their pets were able to make it out safely after their home caught fire in Murray Saturday night.

The Murray City Fire Department rescued their two dogs that were inside at the time of the fire.

One of those was Aaliyah Johnson's 14-week-old dog, Sammy.

"There's this one old fireman who just gives us the nicest smile in the world, and he's like, 'I'm going to go get your dog for you,'" Aaliyah said.

It set up an emotional reunion outside the Johnsons' home after her dog was found and safely removed from the house.

WATCH: Murray family's dogs rescued from house fire

"He brings out my little boy and I was the happiest I've ever been, honestly," Aaliyah said.

Another dog was inside the home at the time of the fire. Firefighters were able to get that dog, named Pumpkin, out safely as well.

"My best friend, my wife's best friend, my kid's best friend, you know? She was rescue dog," said Cori Johnson.

While everyone is safe, Cori is now left sifting through the rubble that was once the home he and his wife raised their three kids in.

"I was out here working. I didn't notice it, and then I turned around and I smelled that and I came and this was just completely engulfed," Cori said.

He said he was burning some weeds in his front yard Saturday night, around 6 p.m., when the fire broke out.

"I had camping gear in here," Cori said. "One of those flew off and broke the fireman's window."

He said things like pictures of his kids playing football to missionary belongings from 30 years ago were destroyed in the fire.

Cori said he ended up going to the hospital after sustaining second-degree burns on his arm, face and the top of his head. He said this happened after he tried to go back inside the home and make sure everyone got out.

Regardless, he is remaining positive.

"I can rebuild this. I do floor coverings," Cori said. "[But] I can't rebuild this right here, you know — my wife is safe, my family is safe, and my family is eternal."

It was a sentiment echoed by Aaliyah, his oldest child.

"We're all able to cope with each other and just find refuge with each other," she said.

The Johnsons have two other pets, who were unscathed in the fire: A dog named Lady and a cat. Cori said Lady came running out of the house after the fire broke out, and he found their cat the next day when he returned home from the hospital.

A GoFundMe has been set up for the Johnson family.

Murray Youth Football is also taking donations for the Johnson family. Cori is a coach for the program.

The fundraiser will take place Saturday at Riverview Junior High and Riverview Park from noon until 5 p.m.

Cori said he has found a temporary place for his family to stay in West Jordan.

FOX 13 News spoke with the Murray City Fire Department Monday night, and they said the exact cause of the fire is undetermined at this time.