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’Our house would’ve been up in flames’: Dog alerts family to small fire behind outlet

Willow and the fire she found behind an outlet.
Willow and the fire she found behind an outlet. (Caitlyn Radel-Paaby)

It seems as though, from time to time, we hear remarkable stories about animals rescuing or saving their family.

Meet Willow (above), a Great Pyrenees who did just that.

Caitlyn Radel-Pabby said if it weren’t for Willow, their home in Bel Air, Maryland, would have been destroyed by a fire that no one noticed.

Radel-Pabby was away from her home on Nov. 24 when it happened. Her boyfriend was at home with their 1-year-old son Parker and Willow.


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Radel-Pabby describes her fur baby as a “sweetheart mama’s girl,” and as being protective of Parker. But other than that, Willow is pretty low-key.

“She’s not really a barker unless she’s talking to us or really excited to see us,” Radel-Pabby said.

However, on Nov. 24, while Radel-Pabby was away from the house, Willow went into the upstairs office, where she doesn’t normally, and began acting strangely.

“(Willow) never goes into the office unless we’re in there. She had crawled underneath the desk where the outlet was, and she was acting nervous,” Radel-Pabby said. “Usually that means there’s a problem or she’s scared of something.”

Radel-Pabby said her boyfriend, who was home at the time with their son, found Willow in the room.

“She was barking and she pooped everywhere because she didn’t know how else to tell us (what was wrong),” she said.

Her boyfriend kept trying to get Willow out of the office, but Radel-Pabby said she kept giving him a warning snap.

“She was telling him: ‘There’s a problem. Don’t move until you see this,’” Radel-Pabby said.

Eventually, Willow was finally able to turn Radel-Pabby’s boyfriend’s attention to an outlet, behind which a fire had sparked.

“It hadn’t spread through the rest of the wall yet, (but) it started melting the box and wires and box around it,” Radel-Pabby said.

The fire department was called and firefighters put out the fire, but had to cut a hole in the wall to be sure it was contained.

Radel-Pabby said the firefighters told her, “If we hadn’t seen it when we did, our whole house would’ve been up in flames overnight.”

“It scared the crap out of me,” she said. “The fact that this could’ve been a lot worse -- it was an eye-opener.”

Radel-Pabby gives all the credit of her home still standing and her family staying safe to her her “sweetheart” dog.

“Willow surely did save our home.”


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