A heroic dog who saved her family from a house fire was rescued herself by firefighters today. On Wednesday, June 25, KOMO 4 News reported that a small dog who alerted her family to a fire in Federal Way, Wash. was miraculously discovered in the burned-out home. The five-pound chihuahua was believed to have died in the fire, but firefighters found her today as they inspected the house.
The dog, named "Chloe," woke up her family as flames overtook the house near 28th Avenue SW and SW 329th Street in the Twin Lakes area. The couple and their daughter all escaped unscathed, thanks to Chloe's quick action.
"Firefighters went in and did a secondary search of the house, and we were actually able to find the little family chihuahua pet," stated Assistant Fire Chief Ed Plumlee of South King County Fire & Rescue.
He added: "The residents thought the dog was dead (and) we did too. But it's alive, well, fine - didn't need any sort of extra care."
Chloe's family had to crawl out a rear window of the home to escape. It was initially believed that Chloe died in the fire. A second dog also escaped from the blaze, but sadly, the daughter's pit bull died in the home. According to South King Fire & Rescue, the couple suffered from minor to moderate smoke inhalation and was treated at a local hospital and later released.
According to Plumlee, the house is a total loss and flames also spread to a neighboring home before firefighters extinguished it.
Chihuahuas like Chloe are known for their intelligence, grace, alertness, and swift action. While they typically do not weigh more than six pounds, the American Kennel Club notes that "Chihuahuas are highly intelligent and should not be underestimated even though small in size." In 2013, the AKC rated the Chihuahua as the 22nd most popular dog breed in the United States.
South King Fire & Rescue, which extinguished the fire and rescued Chloe, has provided rescue and support services since 1949. It is their vision to be recognized by their community and their peers as a regional leader in providing quality fire department services.
Pets have long been known to alert their families to home fires. In May, a Shih Tzu in Iowa saved her family's life when she alerted them to a fire in their home. That same month, a terrier saved his family from a house fire in Wisconsin.
You can take measures to keep your pets safe in the event of a fire. Immediately alert firefighters to the presence of any indoor animals and keep outdoor animals safe by ensuring they do not go near the fire. Evacuate your pets by using a carrier or a leash, as animals often panic at the smell of smoke. Keep an emergency kit on hand for each of your pets for use during any natural disaster.
For more information about how to plan to protect your pets during an emergency, visit the Humane Society's disaster plan for pets.