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Posted: 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013
CHERRYVILLE, N.C. —
Bobby Whisnant said his dog, Spike, proved to be more than just man's best friend.
"(I’m) grateful for him because he actually saved my life,” Whisnant said.
Whisnant said he was asleep in his room on the front side of the house on Dallas-Cherryville Highway when a fire started in a bedroom. His dog Spike was in the kitchen on the back side of the house.
Flames broke out at the home sometime after Whisnant’s roommate left the house Wednesday morning. Investigators said the fire was started by a heater left too close to combustible items.
Whisnant said he heard the smoke detector, but he didn’t pay much attention to it because he thought it was an alarm on his phone.
However, Spike really got his attention.
"My dog barking like crazy, and that's what woke me up," Whisnant said.
Whisnant got up to see why Spike was barking.
“When I got up and opened the bedroom door, a ball of fire hit me in the face,” he said.
The flames singed his hair and his eyebrows. He ducked under the smoke, grabbed his dog and got out.
"(I’m) glad I got an amazing dog like him,” Whisnant said.
Some of the first firefighters to arrive told Channel 9 smoke and flames were pouring out of the house when they got there.
The fire marshal said yesterday a family of five in Cramerton was saved when their dog alerted them. They had no working smoke detectors.
He said he is happy that dogs saved lives, but he wants people to pay more attention to the most reliable alarm -- smoke detectors.
Whisnant said he will be more mindful of unusual sounds, like the smoke detector, but he is happy because of Spike’s familiar bark.
"I thank God that I'm alive,” Whisnant said.
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