Not all heroes wear capes – some have four hoofs and a snout.
A US Navy veteran has credited his 500-pound pet pig for helping save his life when his New Jersey home became engulfed in flames.
Gilbert Anaya, 30, of Union Township, said that his hulking porcine companion bought him extra time to escape his home earlier this month by shutting the door to the garage as flames ripped through it on the night of April 11.
“The fire department said him closing the door bought me 15 to 20 minutes,” Anaya, a combat medic who did tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, told The Post on Thursday. “If he didn’t close the door, the fire and smoke would have spread faster.”
Anaya said firefighters who responded to the scene managed to put out the blaze, which had been caused by a surge protector that short-circuited and lit Hamilton’s bedding on fire, causing the animal to wake up from his bed in the garage.
Because Anaya had trained the pig to open and close doors, Hamilton apparently shut the garage door as he ran away.
“It was basically licking the wood and support beams,” Anaya said of the intensifying fire. “I was literally sleeping against the wall that was on fire.”
Anaya said that when he woke up to the inferno, he feared the worst for his pet pig.
But when he rushed there and kicked in the closed door, he discovered the clever animal had managed to get safely outside, where he was calmly grazing in the yard.
Since the home was devastated in the fire, Anaya has been staying with a friend, while Hamilton has been living in a makeshift tent in the yard as the property’s owner rebuilds.
Anaya’s sister, Victoria, has launched an online fundraiser to help her brother with his expenses after the fire.