Coco wasn’t known for her stature, but she will forever be remembered as brave. The small Chihuahua died in an explosion after rushing back into a burning van to save her family.
Dan and Cara Farrant were driving their three sons, aged 5, 6, and 9, their 3-year-old daughter, and their dog up to Scotland from their home in England when smoke started billowing out of their engine.
Dan pulled the van over in a parking lot as flames started to lick from underneath the hood.
He managed to get his sons and Coco to safety before flames made their way to the cabin. However, as the fire worsened, the mechanical systems in the van failed, and the doors were jammed shut.
Dan’s wife and daughter were still stuck in the inferno.
“I remember looking in [and] I thought it was too late,” Dan told the DailyMail. “Cara and Thea was trapped in.
“I will never forget the look and never forget the screaming at this point,” he said. “I remember turning around and the flames were the full height of the windscreen just behind me.”
With the help of a stranger, Dan pried the back doors of the van open, releasing his wife and daughter, but Coco thought they were still in the vehicle. Perhaps hoping to rescue them herself, Coco ran back into the burning van.
The Farrants didn’t notice their dog was missing until it was too late.
“We tried to run back, but the van exploded with Coco inside,” Dan said.
Dan, Cara and their children watched in horror as fire consumed their van with their beloved Coco inside, unable to escape.
“I was only a few seconds from losing my wife and my little girl Thea. Instead, we lost our best companion, our angel Coco,” Dan said. “My children are suffering and having nightmares. They knew she had gone back in and watched our vehicle explode in front of them with their beloved dog inside.
“I have no feelings other than just numbness,” he said. “My family nearly ended up from being six of us to being four in less than a few seconds.”
Firefighters later found Coco’s body under the front seat of the van. She had huddled there hoping to be safe from the fire.
“I’m just lucky it wasn’t me or my daughter that lost our lives but I will never get over losing Coco,” Cara said. “Coco was the glue to our family. If one of us was sad or ill she would stay with that person.”
Along with Coco, the Farrants lost their Christmas presents, some clothes, and the new camper converter they had just purchased. Making matters worse, none of the losses were covered by insurance.
The Farrant family is mourning the loss of their canine companion, but they are happy to have each other. They’ve found a supportive community willing to help them through this nightmare, too. The GoFundMe campaign they had set up met its goal of £3,000 (about $3,822) within a few days.
Watch the chilling incident in the video below.
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.
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