Dog credited with saving man from burning home

By Jeff Rivenbark - email

MOUNT HOLLY, NC (WBTV) - A dog is credited with alerting a man to escape from his burning home in Gaston County early Tuesday morning.

The fire occurred around 12:30 a.m. along the 100 block of Spratt Drive.

In the 911 call to Gaston County EMS, Gordon Darel Arnold says, "My dog woke me up, she must've smelled it or something, I don't know."

"God, the blazes is shootin' everywhere!" he told the 911 operator.

Arnold said he had a working smoke detector, but wouldn't have heard it going off early Tuesday morning because he had taken his hearing aids out before going to bed.

Fire officials say if Arnold's dog hadn't kept jumping on the his bed trying to wake him up, he would have never gotten up before the fire consumed his bedroom.

"His dog saved his life,"  Robert Michaleski with the Gaston County Fire Marshal's Office.  "Without the dog, there most likely would have been a fatality because the owner was a heavy sleeper and hearing impaired.  People will sleep through smoke and that's how many fire fatalities occur."

Officials say the fire started in the laundry area and then spread over head into the attic.  Then, the fire dropped down into the Arnold's bedroom area.

"Thank God I had her, because I wouldn't be here at all without her. I would have never woke up," said Arnold.

The fire appears to be accidental in nature and remains under investigation.

The home was completely destroyed by the fire and was valued at around $100,000.

If you are hearing impaired and want information about a hearing aid smoke detector, call the Gaston County Fire Marshal's Office at 704-866-3355.

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