Neighbors believe they would have been in danger if it hadn’t been for Che.
The fire started out at 4:30 a.m. on Sunday, while the homeowner was still asleep.
According to authorities, her dog, Che, rushed up to her and began barking loudly, waking her up.
Che and his owner were rescued from a building in Philadelphia.
The dog began howling in the middle of the night, alerting neighbors to the presence of smoke, prompting many 911 calls. According to CBS Philly, fire authorities stated that the property lacked operational smoke alarms.
Jen Leary, the creator of the Red Paw Emergency Relief Team, came on the site as firefighters were pulling Che out of the blazing building.
“They said they found Che laying on top of his owner,” Leary told CBS News.
The woman and the dog were both unconscious.
Neighbors didn’t hesitate to inform Leary about Che’s courageous effort as soon as she got on the scene.
“They said to me, ‘Che saved our lives; we heard him barking and he never barks in the middle of the night like that,’” she described. “They saw smoke and called 911. They all said, too, that the owner and Che are so tight. They were always together. Always.”
There were no burns on the dog. However, his owner, Andrea Bulat, was said to be in critical condition after suffering burns on more than half of her body.
“They found her on the floor of the living room. The dog was on top of her,” neighbor Anthony Daly told CBS Philly. “I guess he had tried to protect her.”
Che was given oxygen on the scene after the dog’s owner was rushed to the hospital, and the pup was sent to a nearby veterinary hospital with serious smoke inhalation.
Che is on his path to full recovery, about a week after the fire. The dog was taken off oxygen and released from the hospital on Thursday. He will be cared for by Bulat’s acquaintance.
“He’s an older dog,” Leary said. “Sometimes it takes a little bit longer to recover.”
This isn’t the first time Leary has heard someone say that a pet saved their life.
“It occurs all the time — not so much the protection of the owner as Che did,” she explained. “We’re informed all the time by families we help that they were alerted to the fire because of their dog or cat.”