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Ace the pit bull saves sleeping deaf boy from burning home

A devastating house fire erupted inside 13-year-old Nick Lamb’s south side Indianapolis home on the afternoon of July 16 while Nick was home alone and taking a nap. Nick is deaf and had switched off his cochlear implants before lying down. As his home filled with fire and smoke, Nick slept and couldn't hear the smoke alarms blaring inside the house, according to Health24.

Ace’s 13-year-old deaf human was sleeping when the house caught on fire.  Ace licked the boy’s face until he woke up and got out of bed.
Ace’s 13-year-old deaf human was sleeping when the house caught on fire. Ace licked the boy’s face until he woke up and got out of bed.
Indianapolis Fire Department

Although Nick was the only human inside the burning home, he wasn't entirely alone. Also inside the residence located in the 6400 block of Perry Pines Court, were the Lamb family pets – a two-year-old pit bull named Ace, and Pixie, the Lamb’s black cat. And it’s Ace who is now enjoying hero status after saving Nick's life by continually licking his sleeping human’s face until the 13 year old woke up and got out of bed.

After Ace awakened Nick with those life-saving face licks, the boy could smell the smoke and knew he had to act quickly. Covering his mouth and his nose with a T-shirt, Nick ran out of the back door of the house taking Ace along with him. Nick said that when he first woke up, "… the house was covered with smoke and we ran out in the backyard.”

Lamb said he was taught at school about covering his face and finding the nearest exit. Without his shoes but with Ace by his side, he darted out of the back door before calling his mother and 911. ~ USA Today

Responding to the 1:11 p.m. call on Wednesday regarding the house fire, when responders from the Indianapolis Fire Department arrived on the scene, “flames were shooting from the garage.” Capt. Rita Reith with the fire department issued a release stating that Nick was thankful to his pet pit bull for licking his face, waking him up and saving his life. Nick was given a complete evaluation by medics on the scene and did not require hospitalization.

"I couldn't hear anything because I had my cochlear implants off. ... My dog Ace smelled it," Lamb said. "I just wanted to get out."

The Lamb family home was completely destroyed by the fire. Although the cause of the fire is still being investigated, officials believe that the fire had an electrical origin and started in the garage.

Nick’s mom, Lindsay Bernard, was at work when the fire broke out and rushed home in a panic after getting the call. She said that this was the first time Nick was able to stay home alone and care for himself. Nick considered that a milestone in his young life, a rite of passage, and was excited about being able to stay home unattended.

Reith’s release also stated that Pixie the cat was located still inside the home by firefighters and appeared to be fine, according to KHOU. Pixie’s human mom said that her cat had “inhaled a bit of smoke, and will be spending the night at the vet.” For more on the incredible bond between a boy and his dog, see the video accompanying this article.