Hero puppy saves owner

Gary Riseborough, of Palgrove Road, Pennywell, Sunderland, and his dog Saber. The dog saved Gary's life by waking him when his house was on fire.

Gary Riseborough, of Palgrove Road, Pennywell, Sunderland, and his dog Saber. The dog saved Gary's life by waking him when his house was on fire.

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A DOG has been hailed a hero after dragging his owner from their burning home.

Alsatian pup Sabre – who is only 14 weeks old – knew instinctively he had to save his owner Gary Riseborough when a chip pan fire engulfed the kitchen of their house in Pennywell.

As flames and black smoke filled the Palgrove Road property in the early hours, Sabre barked and pulled at sleeping Gary’s clothing in a Lassie-like effort to alert his owner to the fire.

The 36-year-old, who was asleep on the settee at the time, said he eventually woke to find the house filled with deadly, dense fumes.

Gary said he was in no doubt that the young dog had saved his life.

“The dog was dragging at my clothes,” he added.

“I couldn’t see a thing for all the black smoke and didn’t know where to go, but Sabre pulled me through the house to the unlocked back door and outside.

“He saved my life. I can’t believe such a young dog could act like that, he is a real hero. The best thing I ever bought.”

Sabre has been with the family for just seven weeks, since he was old enough to leave his mother, and already they owe him a debt of gratitude.

Gary said, despite his home being left devastated by the fire, he knows he is lucky to have escaped the ordeal with his life and is just thankful his son, Cameron, 11, who lives with him, was staying overnight with his mum and that none of his other children, Nathan, 20, Danielle, 16, and seven-year-old Ashton, were staying over.

He said: “My cousin came round for the evening and we had a couple of drinks. When they had gone I went into the kitchen and put the chip pan on, I went back into the living room and sat down.

“I must have gone to sleep, the next thing I knew was the dog waking me up.

“You read about chip pan fires, but don’t really think anything like that will happen to you, this has been a huge wake up call for me.”

Gary also admitted the battery on his smoke alarm recently ran out and he had not got around to replacing it.

Crew Manager Warren Mulvaney, from Farringdon fire station, who was called to the fire at around 2.30am on Sunday, said: “He was very lucky indeed.

“If it hadn’t been for the dog it could have been a very different story, it could well have saved his life.”

The fire officer said he would urge people again not to have chip pans, and if they do never leave them unattended, and to make sure their smoke detectors are kept in working order.