British Columbia

4-month-old puppy wakes up owner during Vancouver apartment fire

A Vancouver dog owner said her puppy may have saved lives after her apartment caught fire on New Year's Eve.

Brittany Cosgrove only had her puppy, Leo, for a week

Leo, a four-month-old puppy, woke his owner up after a fire broke out in their Vancouver apartment on New Year's Eve. (Brittany Cosgrove)

A Vancouver dog owner said her puppy may have saved lives after her apartment caught fire on New Year's Eve.

Brittany Cosgrove was sleeping in her West End home when flames broke out around 2 a.m. Cosgrove only woke up when she heard barking from her four-month-old puppy, Leo, a Biewer Yorkshire terrier.

She walked into the bathroom — right next to her bedroom — and found the fire. She said smoke detectors weren't going off.

"There were flames dripping down from the ceiling," Cosgrove said. "I called 911 ... then I grabbed Leo, grabbed a blanket, and headed outside."

"If I hadn't had him, then I don't know where I would be right now — I believe the entire building would've gone, and possibly lives."​

Brittany Cosgrove, left, was forced to evacuate her apartment building on Saturday after a fire broke out around 2 a.m. (G.P. Mendoza/CBC)

The fire forced at least 30 people from their homes, damaging all three floors. Peter Bridge, with Vancouver Fire Rescue, said it may have been caused by an electrical short in the building's wiring system.

Cosgrove and Leo are currently being housed in a hotel, but the dog owner said she's going to be on her own in a few days.

"My main concern is trying to find a place for Leo and I to live, hopefully still in the West End or downtown core," she said.

Cosgrove said she's grateful the typically-quiet puppy woke up that night.

"I was just instantly protected by him. He knew I'm his mom," she said. "I have no idea what was going through his little mind but he definitely went right into rescue mode.

"Things can be replaced but lives can't, so I'm really happy," she said. "I'm really thankful for him."

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