Hero pet dogs save family from devastating house fire

The family said people should appreciate their dogs because they could save your life

A family who say they “lost everything” when their house caught fire have praised their hero dogs for saving their lives.

Twins Molly and Chloe Appleton-Reeve, aged 24, were asleep in their bedroom when they were suddenly woken by their pet dogs, five-year-old Bulldog, Coco, and 18-month-old Labrador Polly “barking manically”.

When they went to find out why they discovered a fire in the living room of their Cornwall home.

Five-year-old Bulldog, Coco, and 18-month-old Labrador Polly, have been praised by twins Molly and Chloe Appleton-Reeve, who say their pets saved their lives when their home caught fire.

“We would have been in massive trouble if the dogs didn’t get us up”

The sisters were not concerned when they first heard the dogs barking, but just minutes later their fire alarm went off.

Molly had gone to see if the dogs had accidentally knocked the oven on, whilst her sister went to check the living room, and that is when she saw their armchair had caught fire.

Molly said: "By the time the fire alarm went off there was black smoke everywhere, we would’ve been in massive trouble if the dogs didn’t get us up.

"They’re our heroes, they were barking like mad. When I saw the armchair on fire, I threw a fire blanket over it but that just went up like tissue paper, it was too late. We grabbed the car keys and the dogs and ran out of the house."

The sisters, who were home alone in Bodmin, Cornwall when the fire broke out shortly before 10.20pm on Tuesday 6 September, called their mum Jacqui and the emergency services whilst they waited safely outside.

Within five minutes, three fire engines had arrived at their bungalow to put out the huge blaze.

“Coco tried to save her favourite teddy”

It wasn’t just the two girls that the two pet pooches wanted to save, they also tried to save some of their much loved toys.

Molly said: "While we were waiting Coco, who’s very strong, escaped from my arms and tried to run back into the house to get her favourite teddy. It was so black you couldn’t breathe in there, there was no chance of us going back in. Thankfully she came back out and because she’s so low to the ground she was fine.

“The fire services were absolutely lovely, they genuinely cared and took the time to come and speak to us.”

Coco and Polly were taken to the vet to be checked over,  and are both okay. They were each also even given a new teddy to replace their beloved lost ones which Molly and Chloe say they both now "treasure".

“Within eight to 10 minutes we’d lost absolutely everything”

The family lost absolutely everything in the fire. The living room and kitchen have been completely destroyed, and the rest of the house is severely smoke damaged, meaning they cannot live in the house.

They are temporarily living with Molly and Chloe’s grandma in her bungalow. The official cause of the fire remains undetermined.

Molly said: “Within eight to 10 minutes we’d lost absolutely everything. Watching it was almost like a dream, it was all slow motion, you never think it’s going to happen to you."

The Appleton-Reeve family, who say they lost everything a house fire but their dogs saved their lives.

A fundraiser to help the family

Molly has set up a fundraiser to help the family get back on their feet whilst they wait for alternative accommodation. They have also been helped by their local community.

A local clothes bank has donated the family clothes, and a skip company has offered to loan a skip to the family to help them with the costs of clearing out their destroyed home.

Molly said: "It’s been very humbling. We’ve always donated ourselves to places like our local foodbanks and charity shops, but to actually be in the position of the other side of the help is shocking and scary.

"Our insurance will cover basic repairs, but turns out we were under-insured on a few things like new electronics we’d gotten over the years, which you just don’t think to update on your insurance.

"Because of this they’ve penalised us and take 20% of the contents payout, so we’ll have to pay for a lot of it ourselves, the fundraiser is to help with bills and essentials in the meantime.

"We want people to double check they’re insurance is up to date, and that they’re over-insured because you never think you’ll end up in this position."

“Make sure you hug your family tighter”

Molly, who is a full-time carer for her sister and is studying to become a paramedic, said the family are "extremely grateful" for the support they’ve received and for their furry friends who saved their lives.

She said: “We’re so grateful for everyone’s help. I don’t know how we’re going to repay people for their kindness. Thank you doesn’t seem like a big enough word, it’s made this traumatic experience a little bit easier.

"Make sure you hug your family tighter and most of all, appreciate your dogs because they could save your life.”