A family’s pet dog, ironically named Smokey, has been hailed as a four-legged hero after saving three people from a fire in a block of flats in the west of London, the city’s Evening Standard newspaper reports. The fire broke out at a residential complex in the prestigious Shepherd’s Bush area and the local fire brigade have said that Smokey was partly responsible for helping save the three occupants from the flames.
Smokey, who was given his name by local firefighters, smelt smoke while with his owners at a ground floor flat in Stanlake Road. The smoke alarm in the property failed to go off as the flat began to fill with noxious fumes. The canine hero immediately awoke the two men and one women present at the property at the time, who got up only to find themselves surrounded by smoke and flames. Thanks to Smokey’s rapid actions, the occupants were able to call the emergency services who talked them over the phone as they struggled to stay alive until fire engines could reach the scene. They and their pet dog were eventually rescued and brought out of the flat with no ill-effects apart from shock and smoke inhalation. Five other people in neighbouring flats were also evacuated as a precaution, and all were treated by crews from the London Ambulance Service at the scene.
It is not known what caused the fire, but pictures taken by the London Fire Brigade at the flat show a living room with heavy smoke damage. One small red armchair is seen almost completely burned to ashes, with only the front of the armrests still untouched. The smoke alarm installed in the flat, which should have gone off as the smoke took hold, did not operate as the battery was dead. Fire crews have warned London residents to ensure they check their smoke alarms.
A spokeswoman for the brigade said: “The residents of the ground floor flat – where the fire started – were lucky their dog alerted them to the fire as a smoke alarm fitted in the property had no battery in it and did not sound.“
Fire engines and crews from stations in Kensington, Hammersmith and North Kensington managed to bring the blaze under control within an hour, preventing flames from spreading to other flats in the Shepherd’s Bush complex. Station Manager Nic Myatt said: “The firefighters’ hard work and quick thinking saved the lives of those they rescued.“
Smokey, who appears to be a greyhound cross, also escaped from the flat without coming to harm. It is not known what reward he will receive for his act of bravery.
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“Quick-thinking family pet dog ‘Smokey’ saves three from fire at flat in Shepherd’s Bush” – Rachel Blundy, London Evening Standard/Evening Standard Limited (18 November 2014) http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/quickthinking-family-pet-dog-smokey-saves-three-from-fire-at-flat-in-shepherds-bush-9868262.html
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