Kayla Blake thought she'd lost Rebel forever. Per WHSV, the fifth-year psych major at James Madison University got a call Thursday morning informing her that her apartment building in Harrisonburg, Va., was on fire. She says she became "hysterical," as Rebel, the dog she'd adopted three years ago, was inside her third-floor apartment. She rushed home, but when she got there, she got bad news: Firefighters weren't able to get to her unit due to dangerous conditions, and they were sure Rebel had perished in the flames. "The K-9 unit told my parents that there was no way that Rebel would have been able to escape," she says. "Even if he hadn't fallen through a floor or anything, they said he would have died just from the heat." KSNB notes that Blake even put up a memorial tribute to Rebel on her Facebook page, noting, "I love you forever sweet boy."
Two days later, though, when Blake went back to check out what was left, she heard a shocking sound: barking coming from the vicinity of her apartment. Blake immediately called cops and the fire department, and officials clambered through the debris to her apartment. "They walked up ... we heard one of the fire fighters yell, 'We got him!' and he looked out the window and gave me a thumbs up." A video on Blake's Facebook page shows the dramatic moment when rescuers and Blake emerged from the charred building with Rebel, cradled in Blake's arms. Firefighters tell Blake that Rebel survived with just a burn on his nose because the door to her bedroom was closed, per WTVR; the desk he cowered under, plus a flag hanging above it, were the only two items in her apartment that escaped the flames. "MIRACLES HAPPEN!!!!" Blake wrote on Facebook. "I cannot even begin to understand how he survived, but REBEL IS ALIVE!!! My boy is alive." (Read more uplifting news stories.)