Family dog sounds the alarm during house fire
By: Arnold Wyrick
By: Arnold Wyrick
CHRISTOPHER, Ill. - The 911 call came into the Christopher Fire Department shortly after 3:30 Tuesday morning. Firefighters arrived at the home on North Victor Street within five minutes of the call for help. By the time they arrived flames were leaping from the roof and front windows of the home, the Smith family stood shivering across the street, in the early morning Winter air.
"I just want to cry. I've been living here for 30 years, and now it's just nothing," says Ann Smith.
Her 2 story home that her parents purchased in Christopher after moving up from Kentucky during the booming coal days, was reduced to a pile of charred rubble by the fire.
"I stood at a distance and watched it go up in flames. Pictures, keepsakes, and so many things that can't be replaced. Things that belonged to my parents, my grand parents, and my great grand parents everything was here in this house," Smith said.
Ann's husband Charlie was at work when the fire ignited. But her daughter and her daughter's fiance were all asleep when the flames begin spreading throughout the home.
"My daughter came in screaming for me to get out of the house. The house was full of thick, thick smoke. Had it not been for Angel waking up my daughter we would still be in there," Ann said.
Angel is the family's Red Nose Pit bull. She now is recovering from her injuries at the Sesser Animal Hospital.
"She's the one who woke us up this morning. And then she went back into the house looking for my husband, not knowing that he had gone to work. And she's got second and third degree burns over 20% of her body."
Doctor John Spence tells Heartland News that Angel has a fair chance of surviving her injuries because she's still young. But he won't know for sure for another few days until her burns begin to heal.
Meanwhile Angel's family has a new name for her.
"A hero, she's my hero. And she lives up to her name, she's a true angel," Ann said.
The family lost everything in the fire. And they're in desperate need of cloths for right now.
Ann wears XL tops, size 18 pants and 9 1/2 shoes.
Charlie wears 2Xl shirts and jackets. Size 46- 48 pants with a 32 inseam, and size 10 shoes.
Ann's daughter wears XL tops, size 24 pants,a and 8 1/2 shoes.
Her daughter's fiance wears 3XL shirts and jackets.