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Small hero saves Zebulon family from fire

Posted December 21, 2009

— A Zebulon father credits the family dog with saving his family Monday morning when fire broke out at their home.

Canine hero alerts family to fire Canine hero alerts family to fire

Duane Borman and his three children were asleep in their beds at 515 Derby Place when the fire started around 3:45 a.m., said Zebulon Fire Department Chief Sidney Perry.

Borman said he woke to a tap on his shoulder from an unlikely hero. His dog, Maggie, noticed the house filling with smoke and woke him.

“She brought me up enough to know something was going on. That is your hero," he said, holding the dog under his arm.

Borman woke to see flickering flames outside his window and the house filling with smoke. He hustled his two sons and his daughter out of the house. “She just had on pajamas and one shoe and one sock,” he said.

Perry said Maggie’s warning may have saved the Bormans, but a dog is not as dependable as a smoke detector.

"I can't say enough about how important a simple smoke detector is," Perry said.

"Normally smoke will put you into a sleep, a deeper sleep and people don't wake up."

He said a working smoke detector -- the Bormans did not have one -- greatly increases the chances of surviving a fire.

In 30 percent of fires in North Carolina last year, there were no smoke detectors present.

The fire caused extensive damage to the side and rear of the house, making it unlivable, Perry said. A car parked next to the house was also damaged.

The Red Cross is paying for the Bormans to stay at a hotel while officials investigate what caused the blaze.


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  • wildcat Dec 22, 2009

    What a wonderful smart dog?

  • JuanGrande v3.0 Dec 22, 2009

    how can anyone in this day and age NOT have a smoke detector?

  • donnied1952 Dec 22, 2009

    And dogs are good burlgary alarms too.

  • Mom of two Dec 22, 2009

    Heros do come in all sizes. That is great they are all ok.

  • christinathefern Dec 22, 2009

    I am glad this family had a happy ending. I just wanted to say something about one of the things mentioned in the story, the Red Cross. When my house burned to the ground (vaccuum the back of your dryer's yearly people), the Red Cross was there before the flames were put out and the fire department put out the flames. They were offering me vouchers for Walmart (toothpaste, toothbrush, clothes..that kind of stuff) and a hotel. I told them I had insurance, and the gentleman explained that it takes several days to get that money..and he was RIGHT. We stayed with friends, but took the voucher for walmart. I always donate money to the Red Cross because of this. I asked him how he got there so quick, and he told me he heard it on his scanner!! I donated back the money they gave us and then some..and still continue to donate to them as I can.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Dec 22, 2009

    Ask the dog if he would have spent the $9 to get a smoke detector and battery...

  • pappy1 Dec 22, 2009

    I love it!

    "Maggie, noticed the house filling with smoke and woke him."

    Wouldn't it be great if Maggie could speak. She might say "smoke? what smoke? I just had to go tinkle"

    Merry Christmas

  • whatsupwiththat Dec 22, 2009

    Boston Terriers rock - this proves it they are the best breed ever!

  • blackdog Dec 21, 2009

    ...give that family member a rare steak.

  • sweetydmh Dec 21, 2009

    that goes to show that dogs really are mans best friend. ^_^