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‘Pretty crazy and intense:’ Man who lost everything in devastating fire finds comfort in his friends

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MILWAUKEE -- A devastating fire and two dramatic rescues were caught on camera Friday, Aug. 9 near 22nd and Grant in Milwaukee.

The home quickly became engulfed in flames.

22nd and Grant fire

Neighbors rescue man at scene of fire near 22nd and Grant

Neighbors rescue man at scene of fire near 22nd and Grant

"Pretty crazy and intense," said David Vega, a neighbor who tried to help. "It ignited pretty fast."

While one man was able to escape, neighbors rushed over to help save a resident trapped on the second floor. With no other option, he jumped into the arms of those waiting below.

Hector Viera said he was grateful his brothers made it out OK.

"Everybody got out, and that is what matters," said Viera.

22nd and Grant fire

Hector Viera

He walked up to the scene and saw his home ablaze.

"I saw havoc, and I lost it," said Viera.

The home was charred top to bottom, and the Viera family lost almost everything they owned.

"My mom's little doggie died," said Viera. "They didn't find it."

Even though his mom's dog sadly passed, firefighters did find Viera's dog, Miracles. They were able to revive her.

"They did an amazing job," said Viera. "I thought she was done. I saw her come walking around the corner."

22nd and Grant fire

22nd and Grant fire

Finding Miracles was a bright moment in the billowing plume of smoke -- much like the glimpse of hope Viera received from his baseball team.

"We are getting so much support from these people," said Viera. "They gave me the clothes off their backs."

Literally -- as Viera played with a teammate's jersey after the fire -- working to take his mind off the tragedy.

"I was going to quit, but this is all I got," said Viera.

Community members stopped by to offer sympathy and items to help him bounce back.

22nd and Grant fire

"We work together. We play together," said Viera. "We are going to lose together in life, but we got to keep going. Everything is about family here. Be thankful for every little thing you have."

While officials were still working to determine the exact cause of the fire, Viera and his family remained determined to pick up the pieces. If you would like to donate, CLICK HERE.

22nd and Grant fire

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