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Lassie saves family from fire, dies

A collie named Lassie roused her owners and enabled them to escape their burning home but died in the fire, relatives said. “The dog saved their life,” said Judi Thompson after her parents’ home burned Wednesday morning. “Even the firemen said that. Isn’t that amazing? It gives me goose bumps.”

Thompson said her parents, Robert and Elsie Whitson, were asleep in their bedroom at the rear of their home in the city about 30 miles northeast of Indianapolis when the fire broke out. The dog, which slept at the foot of the couple’s bed, licked and nibbled at their hands until 81-year-old Robert awoke and the couple went outside, she said.

Anderson Fire Department Battalion Chief Larry Towne said firefighters found the dog’s remains underneath some collapsed roofing.

“They thought Lassie was out, but she wasn’t,” said Naomia L. Gooding, another daughter of the couple. “They loved this dog, and she was a wonderful dog.”

Thick smoke was rolling from the home when firefighters arrived shortly after 7:30 a.m., Towne said. The fire was still under investigation, but likely was caused by a space heater in a family room in front of the house, he said.

Robert Whitson had first-degree burns to his shoulders, back and part of his head and his 80-year-old wife had chest pains at the scene. Both were treated at a hospital and released, Towne said.

No firefighters were injured fighting the blaze.

Information from: The Herald Bulletin, http://www.theheraldbulletin.com

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7 comments

  1. Did this family have smoke alarms?

  2. IT’S HARD TO UNDERSTAND WHY, WHEN THEY WERE SCURRYING OUT TO SAVE THEIR OWN LIVES, THEY DIDN’T THINK TO BE SURE THE DOG WAS WITH THEM

    WOULDN’T YOU THINK THEY WOULD GET THE DOG BY THE COLLAR, OR TIE A SHEET TO IT AND MAKE SURE IT CAME WITH THEM. ANOTHER CASE OF MINDLESS HUMANS BENFITTING FROM THEIR CARING PETS. EVERYONE WILL SING THE PRAISES OF THE SMART COLLIE WHO KNEW ENOUGH TO ROUSE HIS OWNERS- BUT WHAT OF THE IDIOT OWNERS WHO THOUGHT ONLY OF SAVING THEIR OWN HIDE? HOPEFULLY THEY WON’T GET ANOTHER DOG, BUT THEY SHOULD GET A SMOKE DETECTOR. THAT WAY NO ONE HAS TO DIE IN A FIRE, NOR LIKELY WOULD HAVE.

  3. I agree with Jane. Where were the offspring to not have seen that no fire alarms were there and 80 yr. olds with a Collie? I have had Collies for most of my adult life, but now will not get another because I don’t know if I’ll outlive it and do not want my children to have its responsibility. Ther’re a great breed of dog, live to about 13 or 14, and I would be in my late 70′s if I make it that long, and Collies need excerise and play for a happy life. God helped those people with that dog, but, again,who helped the dog?

  4. WOW i cant believe this happened..im shocked..i have a lab and you better believe if,God forbid, my house burned i would grab my 4 yr old son first and make sure the dog stayed with me..thats ridiculous..and whats with..”The fireman thought the dog was out”..did the owners really not even think twice to look around for that dog while they sat there and watched there house burn?..this makes me really sad..i hope they dont get another dog too..and i guess this is the way God works..he DID help that dog out..

  5. This story w/ the collie named lassie is a other example of why americans should boycott china made import goods until the china’s government pass and enforce laws that protect animal rights. Many products that have fur trimmings are made from domestic animals like Lassie. And this havesting of fur is done in the most horrific way.
    Please boycott the FUR! The skin looks better on Lassie, God bless her soul.

  6. I am sure “Lassie” will be at St. Peter’s side when her ‘people’ get to heaven. At their age, even with the dogs help they were very fortunate. God Bless us all, even the lesser creatures of his creation.

  7. WIts a shame that these people just ran out and left that poor aanimal sitting there..it was there to wake them up, but they ccould not grab it on the way out?!! The dog should have just ggot out on his own and not bothered with them. It amazes me hhow so many people treat an animal as if it means little, well tthank God for this dog or they would be dead.
    SHAME ON THOSE PEOPLE FOR NOT LOOKING OUT FOR THERE PET..HE SSURE LOOKED OUT FOR THEM.

    Statistically when people are in a fire they ALWAYS try to ggrab something on the out.

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