Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

Sara Domaradzki had just escaped her family’s burning two-flat in Portage Park early Tuesday when her dog Bambi scrambled out of her arms and raced back into the flames.

Her family believes the 4-year-old terrier-Labrador mix knew Domaradzki’s 69-year-old father was still in the home and went back after him.

“She ran back into the house to find (Sara’s) dad, and then they both got stuck there,” said Domaradzki’s boyfriend, Alessandro Mininni.

Firefighters arrived at the home on the 5100 block of West Grace Street around 1:30 a.m. and carried out Peter Domaradzki, who did not have any vital signs. Paramedics worked on him as he lay on the sidewalk and were able to revive him, and he was in critical condition as he was taken to a hospital.

Then they came out with Bambi, who was struggling for breath, legs stiff, as Fire Lt. Gilbert Acevedo cradled her.

“It looked limp,” said firefighter Mike Strachan, who grabbed Bambi from Acevedo and carried her up Laramie Avenue to the back of Engine 94, where he put a small air mask over her face. Bambi’s eyes were wide, and the mask steamed up whenever she exhaled.

At first Andrade and Strachan were the only two working on the dog, but as other firefighters and paramedics walked by, one draped a blanket over the dog and others tried to find extra air tanks. Bambi’s tail tapped the ground every few seconds. Paramedics brought another bottle of air.


Mininni said Domaradzki was found under a bed and believes Bambi was found nearby. Domaradzki was a member of the Polish Solidarity movement and is a long time editor for the Polish Daily News, according to his family.

While the dog belongs to Sara, her dad and Bambi have developed a close bond over the years. The two would go for walks and hang out together in the home the family has owned for decades.

He said his girlfriend’s father remained in critical condition at Loyola University medical center.  Bambi remained in the animal hospital and may suffer some complications, Mininni said.