Teen reunited with dog he saved from burning car in Haverhill

HAVERHILL, MASS. (WHDH) - A 17-year-old high school senior who is being credited with saving a dog from a vehicle that went up in flames in the parking lot of a Market Basket in Haverhill on Tuesday said he didn’t think twice before smashing the window with his elbow.

“Someone yelled, ‘I think there’s a dog,’ and at that point, adrenaline kicked in, and I ran at the window and went for it,” Alex Gabriel said of the moment he sprang into action save Boomer, a full-grown, five-year-old Bernese Mountain Dog.

“I was trying to keep the smoke out of my eyes. I kind of grabbed him by the scruff and whatever I could grab,” Gabriel recalled. “I couldn’t see what I was grabbing. After that, I just pulled him out.”

Gabriel and Boomer were reunited Wednesday night and the dog’s owner, Jennifer Berbue said she’s eternally grateful that the teen sprang into action when her car engine caught fire.

“I saw that it was burning, and I ran out there in a panic,” she said of the moment she noticed her car was on fire, adding she doesn’t want to think of how it could have turned out if Gabriel wasn’t there to break the window.

“Boomer is everything to us, to our family, so that would be devastating,” she said.

To show their appreciation, the Berube family gave Gabriel a card with some money inside and also a picture of Boomer — an image he says he’ll set as the background on his cellphone.

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