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Dog hailed as hero in Pueblo County mobile home fire

By Joe Dominguez, Multimedia Journalist - Pueblo Chieftain Bureau , j.dominguez@krdo.com
Published On: Feb 07 2014 07:30:55 PM CST

Alert dog helps guide it's owner to safety and get out before a fire destroys her home.

PUEBLO COUNTY, Colo. -

A Pueblo County woman has her dog to thank for helping her out of a burning home Friday morning.

The dog's name is Max. He started barking around 6:30 a.m. as the home in the 7800 block of Highway 50 West was filling with smoke.

"If it wasn't for the dog barking and waking her up, she probably would have slept and you fear for the smoke inhalation and being overwhelmed by the smoke," said Russ Hickmon, who lives on the property with his adult daughter Rene.

Rene tried to fight off the flames but ended up running out of the home after hearing a pop behind the walls. She was barefoot and watching her house burn in minus-2-degree weather. 

"If it wasn't for this dog, it could have been a lot worse," said Hickmon.

Hickmon said there were other heroes on the property as well. He was amazed by all the people who pulled over to help. 

"Just the warmth and compassion and concern for people they don't even know," said Hickmon.

He wanted to thank the Department of Corrections employees who were the first to pull over. Hickmon also noted a Fremont County firefighter who ran up to turn off a propane tank 10 feet from the burning home while Pueblo County sheriff's deputies kept him from the home.  

Hickmon said emergency responders also deserve a big thank you for showing more than just professionalism.

"You always like to give thanks but sometimes people, I think, go above and beyond, and they were showing my daughter a lot of compassion and a lot of  understanding," said Hickmon.

The mobile home is a complete loss. Investigators have not finished their report but told Hickmon an electrical problem in the home may be to blame.

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