Of all the ghastly things that can happen to a family, a house fire must be number 1 on the list, for it’s deadliness and painful consequences are fearful to consider. To picture a fire breaking out at night when the family is sleeping and tragically unaware is a horrifying thought. Last week such a nightmare became a reality in Winona, Minn….but Bella, a golden retriever-collie sensed the fire and jumped onto her master’s bed. Barking frantically, she rousted the family from their beds and saved their lives. Sadly, in the process, Bella was burned to death.
WINONA, Minn. – Bella, a 3-year-old golden retriever/collie mix who was once rescued as an abused puppy, returned the favor to her owners by alerting them to a house fire. With help from Maddie, a 6-month-old golden retriever, Bella helped get Sue Feuling and her 9-year-old daughter, Mckenzie, out of the house last week. The dogs didn’t make it.
“Those dogs were without a doubt the heroes,” said Winona Assistant Fire Chief Jim Multhaup.
Bella had jumped on Feuling’s bed early Friday morning and started barking, and Feuling then smelled smoke, grabbed her daughter and rushed out of the house.
But Feuling couldn’t coax the dogs out of the house, even when she tried to run back in to yell for them.
“Bella must have thought Mckenzie was still in the house,” Feuling said.
A firefighter who arrived at the scene tried to save the dogs, but it was too late. The Feulings were taken to an area hospital for smoke inhalation monitoring, but were OK, Multhaup said.
The fire, which was caused by an overloaded electrical outlet, gutted the home, Multhaup said.
While an assistance fund was set up, Sue Feuling said she was only thinking about her dogs. ”
From the Associated Press Monday, February 11
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