Local News

Firefighters bury dog killed in Wake Forest house fire

Posted January 21, 2012

— Amid the rubble of a Wake Forest home that went up in flames Friday night lies a small but precious grave, built for an Italian Greyhound named Adele that didn't survive the fire.

After extinguishing the blaze, firefighters buried the dog in the backyard, fashioning a cross from debris and placing a brick marker with Adele's name.

"In the middle of the night, they were tired, and they took the time to bury this dog," said neighbor Jennifer Lee. "That is above and beyond."

Lee was so touched by the gesture that she sent a photo of the grave to WRAL News.

The house, which authorities said is a "total loss," belongs to Steven Schnurrer and his wife, Jamie Tuohy, who were out of town for their daughter's wedding in Wisconsin.

Fire destroys Wake Forest home, kills dog Fire destroys Wake Forest home, kills dog

Hunter Chambers, 12, spotted flames across the street, at 2636 Dun Loring Drive, shortly after 9 p.m. 

"My brother looked out the window and we saw a fire," he said. "We started yelling up to my parents, 'Call 911!'"

His mother, Jill Chambers, called Tuohy, who was stunned to hear about the fire but didn't want to miss her daughter's wedding. Jill Chambers said the couple was "just blown away" by what happened.

"It was scary," Hunter Chambers said. "My mom was crying. (My brother and I) were crying. It's scary."

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but authorities said it started at the back of the house. Neighbors on both sides of the house were evacuated and firefighters had to shuttle water to the blaze because of a lack of fire hydrants in the area.

No one was injured.


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  • SouthernBornSouthernBred Jan 24, 2012

    TheDude abides - FACT - YES the Wake Forest Police do have the dogs they have to put down buried. Wake Forest has the finest Public Servants around!

  • ginashires Jan 23, 2012

    Wow.....so sorry for the family's loss. What the firefighters did for little Adele was so nice, as tired as they had to have been after putting the fire out, they took the time to make sure she was laid to rest. Thanks to you for that and for your service.

  • ktbgroves Jan 23, 2012

    I know for a fact that they had hired someone to take care of their beloved dog while they were away. They are the nicest people and this is a devastating tragedy. I love that the Firefighters took the time and buryed their lovely dog. What a nice touch to a terrible tragedy.

  • storchheim Jan 23, 2012

    I was so sorry to read this story as well, but when I go out of town I leave my cat at home, with someone to come in and feed, water, etc. It's less stressful than boarding him, where he'll spend two days in a cage in a strange environment, and everyone leaves when the office closes anyway.

    My point is, we don't know the dog was "left alone". Someone could have been checking on him/her, but it only takes a moment for a fire to break out. Don't give the family any more grief.

    Unless you're an animal lover, you may not understand how much the firefighters comforted the family by burying, and erecting the cross and stone over the grave. Thank you for being a ray of light in a dark sky.

  • pstroud2 Jan 23, 2012

    Remember a lot of the Wake Forest Firefighters are volunteers. This might be a good time for you to think about donating...

  • nonPC Jan 23, 2012

    Firefighters are some of the best of us!

  • TheDude abides... Jan 23, 2012

    Excellent story.
    Just one question...does the PD bury the dogs they shoot just because they looked mean and had a big bark?

    this is the best example of the different mentalities among public servants I have seen yet.

    Pround of you FD!!!

  • awncs Jan 23, 2012

    Public servants at their finest!! Hats off to those who risk their lives each day to make a difference. :)

  • SouthernBornSouthernBred Jan 23, 2012

    boxtruck is back - the family was out of state. What did you want them to do leave the burnt dog in the house? I'm sure the family appreciated them burying the dog and putting out the fire! Kudos to the Wake Forest Fire Department for a job well done!

  • foster208 Jan 23, 2012

    I am so sorry for the loss of this home and the dog. This story exemplifies the character of our firefighters, going above and beyond the call of duty. You guys and gals are our heroes.