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Dog and Owners Reunited After Raleigh Fire

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RALEIGH — A Raleigh couple began the new year with bad news, and then good news. The bad news: an apartment fire destroyed all their possessions. The good news: their dog awakened them in time for them to get out. The pet then vanished. But in another round of good news, he has been reunited with his owners.

Cory Zaner and his fiance Amy Hass were asleep in the early hours of New Year's Day when a fire raced through their apartment. Flames soon spread to other units, so that residents of the entire apartment building are now searching for new homes.

The couple, however, credited their 10-month-old Labrador retriever, Bud, with saving them from the flames.

"My dog's barking -- that's what woke me up," Cory Zaner said.

The fire was at The Lakes Apartments in North Raleigh.

"I think we would have stayed in bed. We would have had the door open, and we would probably not be here today," Zaner said.

Residents say fire alarms did not go off, and that they were awakened only when they heard knocking on their doors to alert them.

"We were asleep and we heard someone knocking, saying 'Fire, fire! Get out," says Angela Poykin. She said she opened the door and smoke hit her in the face.

The fire started in Zaner's apartment.

"I just saw flames. I didn't even see the dog, just flames," Zaner said. "I grabbed Amy, and we ran out of the house and woke everyone up."

Maybe Bud was being a modest hero. Maybe he was just scared to pieces. But after the fire, Bud could not be found.

Fire investigators had said they had not found the dog's body in the burned apartment.

And, to make finding Bud trickier, he was not wearing a leash or collar, both of which were taken off to groom Bud the day of the fire.

But Sunday night, all was happiness. Around 11:30 p.m., Bud and his owners were reunited for a grand homecoming of petting, patting, and hugging .... and a pretty cushy life for hero-dog Bud at the next Zaner home.

Zaner said Bud was returned after someone saw the news story that aired on WRAL's 11 p.m. newscast Sunday evening. andKay Miller


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