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‘She’s my hero’: Dog’s barking saves owner from house fire

Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 1:44 AM MDT
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TANGERINE, Fla. (WESH) - A Florida man was definitely not mad when his dog’s barking woke him up in the middle of the night. He says those barks saved him from a raging fire.

Joel Rosa says his dog, Maggie, woke him up around 3 a.m. Wednesday and helped get him out of his burning home in Tangerine, Florida, saving both of their lives.

“I love this dog,” Rosa said. “She woke me up at like 3 in the morning, barking. I wake up, and I heard the noise on the roof. So, I came outside from the porch upstairs, and I look on the right side and see the fire. It was really scary, really scary because I’m trying to... At the beginning, I thought that I could stop it myself, even from outside.”

Joel Rosa says his dog, Maggie, saved his life when she woke him in the middle of the night and...
Joel Rosa says his dog, Maggie, saved his life when she woke him in the middle of the night and helped get him out of his burning home in Tangerine, Florida.(Source: WESH via CNN)

Fire crews raced to the home and worked in defensive mode, as the flames had gone through the roof of the second floor, officials said. There was a partial collapse on one side.

“We believe it was a lightning strike from yesterday’s storms that hit the house, and that lightning festered inside the roof. This is a 7,000 square foot home. It’s a very large home, and it was 80% involved with flames. So, the homeowner should definitely thank his pet for waking him up,” said Lisa McDonald, a spokesperson for Orange County Fire Rescue.

Rosa says he’s full of gratitude toward Maggie.

“Oh, she’s my hero. I love my dog. It’s amazing. I would say she saved my life,” he said.

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