Alabama Dog Saves Family of Four from House Fire

Ralph the Great Dane
Contributed

Four-year-old Great Dane “Ralph” alerted his family to a house fire just in time to get all of them safely from their home early Tuesday morning.

“He was in his kennel inside the house and we heard him barking,” husband and father of two, Derek Walker remembered. “He usually doesn’t make a sound at night. And it was a different kind of bark.”

“I just started screaming ‘fire’ to get everybody up,” Walker continued. “My wife got up and she got our daughter and got her out.” But the couple’s son was still fast asleep, separated from the family because his bedroom was on the lower floor of their split level home.

As Walker evacuated his little girl, his wife rushed to get him — blissfully unaware as he slept. “She said his room was full of smoke. He was still asleep,” Walker said. “The fire was right outside his wall. He wasn’t awake because he sleeps covered with his blanket.”

North Shelby Fire Department Battalion Chief Robert Lawson told reporters they believe the fire started on the Walkers’ grill, before spreading to their home. Within four minutes of the 2:25 a.m. call, they arrived to find a violent blaze consuming the back of the house.

The family also highlighted their gratitude for their faithful furry companion, who beat their smoke alarms — and likely saved lives in the process. By the time their smoke alarms started sounding, the house was already filled. “There was so much smoke I don’t know if we would have made it out,” Walker said. “Without Ralph, I don’t think we would have made it,” he said. “I don’t think my son would have made it.”

Chief Lawson agreed. “We could have had injuries or fatalities,” he said. “As an animal lover, we are very thankful for Ralph.”

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