Puppies alert residents to house fire; other pets perish in blaze
Published Friday, January 4, 2013 8:35AM CST
Last Updated Saturday, January 5, 2013 1:49PM CST
Multiple people managed to escape from a house fire after a dog and her puppies alerted them to the blaze on Grove Street in North Point Douglas on Friday.
“I’m feeling very relieved – we’re all OK right now,” said Terry Smaczylo. He was checked over in hospital after escaping the fire, but wasn’t injured in the blaze.
His 12-year-old daughter wasn’t home during the fire.
Her three cats and a dog died in the fire, but Smaczylo said another recently rescued dog, the Pomeranian named Penny, and its puppies saved people in the home.
“The puppies rescued us – actually saved our lives. They woke me up when the fire started and we managed to get out because of the puppies and they’re all safe now,” said Smaczylo.
Penny had recently been taken in, shortly before she gave birth to the puppies over Christmas.
Along with Terry Smaczylo, a man, woman and their grandson on the main floor also made it out safely from the burning home Friday.
The fire started around 7 a.m. on Jan. 4.
Smaczylo and his daughter, and the other family living in the home, lost nearly everything in the fire. Police estimated the damage at $225,000.
Community members are collecting clothing, furniture, pet supplies and anything else to help the families.
“Right now, I think it's emotional - they're going to be going through a lot, but when they get on their feet they have nothing and they have to start new,” said Jacquie Bondar, a family friend.
“This is a good community, good neighbours. Everybody always looks out for each other, and that's what's going to keep me strong,” said Terry Smaczylo.
Penny and her puppies are all doing well and are back with the Smaczylo family. The puppies are set to be given out for adoption when they're ready to leave mom, and already have homes lined up.
Police said the fire was caused by an electrical fault and is not considered suspicious.