‘That Dog Saved the Family': Hero Puppy Warned of Va. House Fire

A family in Prince William County, Virginia, is crediting their puppy with helping them get out of their home safely when a fire broke out.

Before the family of four heard smoke alarms, their Havapoo -- part Havanese, part poodle -- named Onyx barked its head off.

Flames erupted late Sunday on Beegee Court in Woodbridge. The fire started outside, at the back of the house, and the dog apparently realized there was danger.

The couple that lost their home said they were too overwhelmed on Tuesday to talk on camera, so their neighbors helped tell their story.

The couple and their two children, age 1 and 3, had just gone to sleep when Onyx started making a commotion, neighbor Carri Ubarri said.

"The dog kept barking, barking, barking. That's when the husband noticed there was smoke. He told the wife, 'Call 911,'" Ubarri said the couple told her.

They got the children and the dog, and they got out of the townhouse fast.


Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia local news, events and information

Montgomery County unveils statue honoring Olympic athlete Dominique Dawes 

AEDs added to parks in Fredericksburg, Virginia

"I was dead asleep. All I heard was screaming, and that's what woke me up," neighbor Sarah Bladen said.

The neighbors are taking up a collection for the fire victims, whose home is a complete loss. They put flyers on mailboxes in the Carolyn Forest community seeking contributions.

"They are really young, really nice people, and they are broken because it took them a lot of effort to buy this house, and now everything is gone in less than an hour," Ubarri said.

The volunteers are collecting gift cards, diapers and some treats for the lifesaving poodle.

"They're very proud of the dog. That dog saved the family," Bladen said.

Contact Us