41ºF

Henry County family credits dog for saving family from house fire

Fire broke out just before 6 a.m. Monday

HENRY COUNTY, Va. – Chico is Angela Nemith's pit bull mix.

She said the dog woke her daughter up when the family's home caught fire just before 6 a.m. Monday.

"They were both asleep on the couch and the dog woke her up. If it wasn't for that dog, we might not be standing here," Nemith said.

Nemith's daughter then alertly woke up her mother.

"I heard something like a mirror breaking, or glass breaking, and I look and the house is on fire," Nemith recalled. "We rushed to get out."

Nemith said the fact that her daughter and the dog were sleeping on the couch is a blessing.

"(My daughter's) room was right over the basement, where the wood stove was at. There's nothing left of that side of the house. So, I'm very thankful she was in the living room and the dog wasn't in her kennel," Nemith said.

Henry County's fire marshal said the fire burning in the wood stove in the basement is to blame, but how, exactly, is unclear because of how much damage was done to the home.

Ridgeway Assistant Fire Chief John Adams said there wasn't much firefighters could do to save the house.

"By the time units got on scene, the house was pretty well fully involved. We had four departments here," Adams said.

The cold weather was also challenging.

"We had some minor problems with freezing," Adams said.

The family is staying with family members.

A GoFundMe account has also been set up.


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