PEI

Dog saves family from burning home

A family dog alerted a family of four to a house fire Wednesday, allowing them to get out safety, say officials.

Family escapes safely from house fire in Head of Hillsborough, puppies perish

Five fire departments responded to a house fire in Head of Hillsborough on Wednesday. (Cassie Williams/CBC)

A family dog alerted a family of four to a house fire Wednesday, allowing them to get out safety, say officials.

Flames were shooting about 15 metres in the air by the time East River firefighters arrived at the two-story house in Head of Hillsborough at about 4:25 a.m. on Wednesday, said Fire Chief Rod MacDonald.

The father woke up, heard the dog barking and he woke up his family and got them out of the house.– East River Fire Chief Rod MacDonald

"The dog is the one that woke them up," he said. "The fire was already burning in one of the rooms and the father woke up, heard the dog barking and he woke up his family and got them out of the house."

It took firefighters from East River, Morell, Mount Stewart, North Shore, and Crossroads departments about an hour to knock down the flames, and until about noon to douse the hotspots.

The dog's newborn puppies died.

"There wasn't much time to grab anything," said MacDonald, including the puppies.

But the farmhouse, built in the early 1900s, was a total loss.

'Pretty proud of them'

"By the time we got the call, left our homes, got to the fire hall and then proceeded on there, I was pretty proud of them, they knocked her down pretty quick." MacDonald said.

The family of four is staying with relatives while Canadian Red Cross assists with clothing and food.

The Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the fire. MacDonald said it's a good reminder to check your smoke alarms.

Car fire in cornfield

That wasn't the only fire the East River department battled on Wednesday. At about 3:25, they responded to a vehicle fire in a cornfield in Pisquid East where two people were goose hunting.

MacDonald said he has no idea what caused that fire.

Corrections

  • Initially this story stated the mother dog and her puppies died in the fire, as fire officials initially thought. The family later clarified that the mother dog made it out of the house with the family and one six-month old puppy. Another six-month old puppy is still unaccounted for. Six newborn puppies died.
    Dec 19, 2016 5:17 PM AT

With files from Laura Chapin