Local News

Small hero saves Zebulon family from fire

Posted December 21, 2009 4:19 p.m. EST
Updated December 21, 2009 11:51 p.m. EST

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

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.