Seattle firefighters rescue dog trapped after last week’s landslide in Magnolia

SEATTLE — For the first time in a week, optimism pushed its way down Perkins Lane in Seattle’s Magnolia Neighborhood.

After being trapped in the rubble of a home destroyed in a landslide for nearly 7 days, a dog believed to be dead was found alive.

Homeowner James Fritts and a relative stopped by the house to gather up some belongings. While grabbing what they could, they never expected to hear a whimper.

“He said I hear her and I was like what, and so I go down and he yelled her name and I could hear her whimpering too,” says relative Jason Lohr-Johnson.

Fire crews rushed to the home and quickly came up with a game plan as neighbors and relatives of the couple jumped in to help.

“We cut a hole in the floor and one of the firefighters called out to stop the noise,” says neighbor Remy Olivier. “We stopped sawing and we saw her head and she had enough moment that she was able to get around on her own and we just pulled her out.”

Within seconds of being pulled out of the home, the dog, Sammy, was carried down a ladder and reunited with her owner.

Nearly every day since the slide, friends, neighbors, relatives and the homeowners themselves have been stopping by the home to gather their belongings. But not once did they hear the dog calling out.

“To know that I’ve been in the house a number of times to try and get their stuff out and I hadn’t heard anything is kind of upsetting,” says Lohr-Johnson.

But for the first time in nearly a week, smiles and cheers flooded this hillside community as people witnessed a miracle.

“Seeing her being carried out in hole and wagging her tail was, yeah, it’s the best outcome that I can imagine really,” says Lohr-Johnson.

The couple says they couldn’t afford landslide insurance. If you want to help the family, you can visit their GoFundMe page to learn more.


A landslide in Magnolia sent mud and debris coursing down a hill near 2400 Perkins Lane Friday afternoon. It slammed into a home and pushed the house 20 feet off its foundation.

Two people and two dogs were home at the time. A woman was able to escape on her own, but the slide trapped the man in the basement, prompting a major rescue response from the Seattle Fire Department.

Neighbors on Perkins Lane say they heard a boom.

“It almost sounded like a big wave hit the land,” said one neighbor who lives nearby.

Quickly they found out part of the hillside gave way, and then slammed into the house

“The house completely pancaked onto the first story. When we arrived on scene, that person was actually trapped in the basement of the home covered in debris,” said Kristin Tinsley, spokesperson for the Seattle Fire Department.

Chopper7 shows you the rescue from Seattle Fire, where you can see crews pulling the man out from a hole they cut into the house. The team had to shore up the debris as they went along to make a safe path to reach the victim.

“The whole second story just collapsed onto the first story. He was near a refrigerator which helped hold up some of the structural beams,” said Lt. Colin McElroy with Seattle Fire Rescue 1.

Crews assessed the victim on the lawn before loading him onto a gurney and into an ambulance.

Simultaneously, crews worked to put out a fire near propane tanks that sparked when the landslide hit the property.

Both the woman and man who live at the residence went to the hospital in stable condition, but fire crews recovered a pet dog that died in the slide, and say another dog is missing

Neighbors say they’re grateful the situation wasn’t even worse.

“He’s doing well for what happened,” said neighbor Steve Handley.