By ANTHONY BOND
Lifesaver: Christian Heath is pictured with Bessie, whose constant barking alerted him to a huge blaze which had broken out in a stable block alongside his house
A pet dog has been hailed as a lifesaver after her barking alerted a family to a huge fire which was sweeping through their home.
Brave Bessie's constant barking alerted Christian Heath and his family to the blaze which had broken out in a stable block alongside their house.
Mr Heath, a grandfather, said his beloved Jack Russell terrier began barking 'pretty intensively' as the family ate an evening meal at their home near Market Drayton, Shropshire.
The fire destroyed the stable block, a garden room and 75 per cent of the roof of the home - as well as leaving a number of bedrooms and bathrooms severely damaged.
'My wife and I were having a meal with our two daughters, their husbands and children on Boxing Day at about 6.30pm,' said Mr Heath.
Thankful: Christian Heath looks on proudly at his Jack Russell terrier with the fire-damaged home clearly visible in the background
'Bessie was in the garden and started barking pretty intensively which made my wife get up and look through the window.
'It was only because of her persistent barking that we noticed the flames coming out of the stable block - Bessie warned us ten minutes before it started working its way through the roof.'
Fire crews from Market Drayton, Oswestry and Shrewsbury, took more than 11 hours to bring the fire under control, with help from crews based in Staffordshire and Cheshire.
'It's quite a big house, with a garden room and loft above it that were both completely destroyed,' added Mr Heath.
'Thankfully, we were all untouched by the fire because of Bessie barking in the garden.
'She's always in the house, but that night she was wandering around outside and if it hadn't have been for her barking, I dread to think what would have happened.'
The cause of the fire is unknown and the cost of the damage is now being assessed by loss adjusters.
Monday, January 2, 2012
Brave Bessie to the rescue: Family saved from devastating house fire after pet dog raises the alarm by barking
By ANTHONY BOND