Man dies in fire trying to save his beloved dogs

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A devastating house fire, and a man’s devotion, resulted in a tragic loss of life in Lexington, Georgia. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, 72-year-old Ryan Gainey, a world-renowned garden designer, lost his life on Friday when he attempted to save his beloved Jack Russell terriers from dying in the fire.

According to Decaturish, Gainey, and his dogs, died in the blaze. A witness saw Gainey rush into the burning home with a garden hose, but he never came back out of the structure. On July 30, Brooks Garcia, one of Gainey’s friends, made a Facebook post about the devastating loss:

The sad news that I share is almost to much to bear. My good friend, and mentor, Ryan Gainey died tragically last night in a fire in Lexington Georgia while trying to save his beloved dogs. It is a huge loss for the horticulturally world, Atlanta and his many friends. I am beyond words.

On Monday morning, the Garden & Gun Magazine Facebook page posted, “We are heartbroken over the tragic news of Ryan Gainey’s death this weekend in Decatur, Georgia. The legendary garden designer and quintessential Southern character will always be remembered for the green spaces he so beautifully created.”

On Ryan Gainey’s website, he commented on what his dogs meant to him:

I share my life with many living things, but few are as precious to me as my Jack Russell terriers, Cracker Jack, and his son, Soda Pop.

The cause of the fire is not yet known – the local sheriff’s department is expected to release more information about the blaze this week.

(Photo via Ryan Gainey website)

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13 replies
  1. Linda Beem says:

    Well, this made me cry! I’m pretty sure I’d have done the same thing, and tried to save my dogs also. So sad to hear of the loss of such a wonderful loving man, (the world doesn’t have enough of them). I have to believe they are all together again, where they will forever be safe from the tragedies of life. Heaven is a big place.

  2. Penny's Dachshund says:

    This Loving Man Gave HIS own Life for the Love of His beloved Dog’s !!! His is a ONE IN A MILLION HERO and the world has Lost and Kind and Gentle Man… The picture Posted Shows his LOVE for HIS Dogs and Their Love for HIM.

  3. resqdogz says:

    “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

    I, too, would not have hesitated to do the same.

    God spede to the Bridge… Ryan, Cracker Jack, and Soda Pop…

  4. Barkley's Mom says:

    May God bless him and keep him, Rest in peace with your precious pups, This brave man did what many of us would have done, risk our lives for our fur babies.

  5. virginia green says:

    the dogs was his 4 legged kids.we have bonds with our dogs and some of us treat them like our dog was spoile justlike my 4 kgrownkids weretreated all a he did not want to live without them.sorry for thelost.but he went with his dogs bye him.GOD IS WITH THE 3 OF THEM.REST IN PEACE YOU 3.

  6. moira brabender. says:

    If we love our pets, we would do anything for them, including trying to save their lives. People will say ‘how stupid’ but if you love your pets we would do it. This man died and will now be forever with his animal family. He was very brave, not stupid. May you all live on the other side in happiness and peace together.

  7. Claire Talltree says:

    I know that running back in the house is a no-no, but I cannot imagine the horror — the screaming horror — of standing outside and watching them burn to death. I am so sorry that this brave man lost his life… I am sure he thought there was no other option. :'( My condolences to his family…


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