Edmonton

'I don't think I could ever thank him enough': Dog owner credits St. Bernard for saving her from fire

Natalie Lafrance was fast asleep Monday when the sound of scratching paws at her bedroom door startled her awake.

'If he hadn't woken me up, I don't know if we'd be here'

Cooper, a rambunctious St. Bernard puppy help his Edmonton owners escape a furnace fire unscathed. (Natalie Lafrance/Facebook)

Natalie Lafrance was fast asleep Monday when the sound of scratching paws at her bedroom door startled her awake.

Her 10-month-old St. Bernard puppy, Cooper, pulled her from the bed and into the smoke-filled hallway.

"He grabbed my hand and started pulling me," said Lafrance.

"Then he started scratching and growling at the furnace room door so I opened it up and there was flames coming off the motor.

"I switched the power off right away and got it under control. If he hadn't woken me up, I don't know If we'd be here."
Natalie Lafrance credits her dog Cooper for alerting her to a fire in her home
Lafrance and her son were able to safely evacuate from their south Edmonton home on Monday.

This isn't the first time the furnace has caught on fire. Late last week, Lafrance's 14-year-old son Coby was at home alone when the furnace overheated.

After firefighters cleared the scene, a repair person was called in and Lafrance assumed the broken motor had been fixed, she said.

Lafrance and her son were sleeping when the furnace caught fire early Monday morning.

She heard Cooper whining and barking, before pushing his way into the bedroom. The 130-pound puppy was frantic.

St. Bernard Cooper and his owner Coby (Natalie Lafrance/Facebook)

"At 3:30 in the morning he was at my beside, biting my hands, he just had to get me up, wouldn't leave me alone until I got out of bed," said Lafrance.

"He was grabbing at my hand and pulling at me and then he started scratching and growling at the furnace-room door."  

Lafrance smelled smoke and heard strange noises coming from the furnace room, which is located just a few steps from her bedroom.

Still half asleep, she opened the door and found flames shooting from the motor.

Lafrance credits her beloved puppy with saving her life. She said Cooper's bravery is proof that pets love unconditionally and will risk their own lives for their owners.

As a reward for his efforts, Cooper got to devour an entire steak for dinner on Monday night.

"Had he not been here, had he not told me what was going on, I would have no idea what would have happened. Would we have slept through it? Would we have gotten out in time?

"I woke up this morning and I just looked at him and I just gave him and gave him a big hug and I actually had a bit of a cry."

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