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Dog Hailed Hero After Fire Rips Through Home

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A Port Richmond woman remains hospitalized after an early morning fire inside her home Sunday.

Neighbors say her dog may have saved her life.

Fire officials said the home had no working smoke detectors, but it was the dog's barking that woke neighbors up to alert them to the fire around 4:20 a.m. on the 3100 block of Memphis Street.

Anthony Daly and another neighbor called 911 and tried to break down the door with no success. When firefighters arrived a few minutes later, everyone was stunned to see what was behind the door.

"They found her on the floor of the living room. The dog was on top of her," Daly said. "I guess he had tried to protect her. Che was a good dog, so that's what Che did."

Both the woman and the dog, named Che, were unconscious. Paramedics rushed the woman, who neighbors call Andy, to Temple Hospital.

She suffered burns to more than half her body.

Jen Leary, of Red Paw Emergency Relief Team, scooped up Che, who was suffering from smoke inhalation, but miraculously no visible burns.

"The neighbors tried covering him up with blankets," Leary said. "The fire department had given him oxygen and he was alert but was just kind of laying there lethargic."

Daly said he's not at all surprised that Che risked his own life to protect his owner.

"If you treat your animal right, your animal is going to do the same thing for you and that's what shows," he said. "She put a lot of loving care into taking care of her animals."

The woman also had a cat that died in the fire. Che is recovering at CARES Animal Hospital in Langhorne, where he was in stable condition Sunday night.

Che's owner remains in critical condition at Temple Hospital.

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