Seeing a burning building can be one of the scariest sites, especially when it’s someone’s home. You never know who or what can be inside that can make the situation even more frightening. For one Edmonton man, he threw fear and caution to the wind when one of his neighbor’s houses was burning.

Shane Dowling was out in his yard alongside his son when he noticed there was some smoke coming from several houses down. During the time of the year, having a fire outdoors didn’t seem out of the ordinary, but then the nature of the fire changed. “I saw a few more bigger clouds so then maybe thought somebody was having problems with the barbecue or something, or something was on fire,” Dowling said.

When he went to check on the home that was situated around the corner, he saw that the flames and black smoke were coming from the home itself. Thinking that his neighbor might be inside, Dowling pounded on the door, and when nobody responded, he kicked down that door and went through the smoke to search for any residents while other neighbors checked the perimeter for residents.

Dowling did one of the most dangerous things that you can do during a house fire, running up the stairs through the billowing smoke to continue his search for people. “The smoke was so bad. You couldn’t even see,” he said. Ultimately, there was nobody in the home, and his neighbors were actively trying to put out the flames from the outside. There were no major injuries, thankfully, and it gave Dowling and his neighbors a sense of pride.

“I’m always going to do something,” Dowling said. “I made that decision if I can get up there and see if anybody’s up there, I’m going to try and do what I can…That’s what community is, that’s what having neighbors is all about. We want everyone to look out for our neighborhood.”