“Our little hero” owners call 3 year old Chihuahua
JJ might shiver and cower when confronted by a stranger, as Chihuahuas often do, but the little dog acted heroically during a Wednesday morning emergency, according to owners David and Martha Murray.
The beloved 3-year-old pet was the first one in the home on the outskirts of Campbellsburg to become aware of the fire spreading through parts of the Summit Road mobile home and kept his family from coming to harm.
“If our dog hadn’t woke us up, I don’t think we’d be out here talking, because the smoke had engulfed the whole house,” David said.
When the fire started in the early morning hours, the couple was sleeping in recliners in their living room, as usual, due to ongoing health issues, the Murrays said. When the smoke started filling the mobile home and the other end of the hallway started glowing from the spreading flames, the full-blooded Chihuahua noticed first and acted.
“He kept running from chair to chair, jumping on us, barking,” David said.
Martha woke up and she shook David awake. While David threw water on the flames that were spreading to a bedroom, Martha called 911 to send the Campbellsburg Fire Department.
David felt he almost got the fire out, but then it flared up suddenly. The blaze pushed the family, including JJ and a second pet Chihuahua, Sissy, out of their home into heavy, soaking rains.
The firefighters arrived in a few minutes, lining up their three tanker trucks and three fire engines on Summit Road, containing the fire to the far end of the trailer. The Murrays learned from firefighters afterward they believed the problem arose above the ceiling, where a 220 electric wire going to the furnace shorted out. The resulting flames spread down into a bedroom closet.
“Once it hit the clothes, it was gone,” David said.
The Murrays and their dogs avoided any injuries, due to the early detection by JJ. Drenched, they spent the night in their Ford minivan parked in the driveway and met the insurance adjuster who came out the next day.
Their home was declared a total loss, the Murrays said. Much of the insurance payment for the mobile home will go to the bank.
They will look for another trailer to pull onto their nearly two acres and scrap the damaged one.
“I’d like to thank each one of the firefighters who were here,” Martha said. “They did a wonderful job putting it out.”
Red Cross provided assistance, Henry County Helping Hands brought clothes for the Murrays and Martha’s coworkers at Providence in New Castle also helped.
The Murrays also felt pride in JJ, who added lifesaving to his tricks of fetching the ball and rearing on his back legs with his front paws up in the air, which they refer to as “sitting pretty.”
“Our little hero,” as the Murrays call JJ now.
By Christopher Brooke
Henry County Local