'Hysterical' dog saves couple from house fire

HERO DOG: DJ alerted his owners Chris Ingham and Kathy Kington to the fire inside their Gin Gin road home southwest of Sharon. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail
HERO DOG: DJ alerted his owners Chris Ingham and Kathy Kington to the fire inside their Gin Gin road home southwest of Sharon. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail Mike Knott

A SHARON couple has credited their dog, a nine-year-old bull mastiff called DJ, with saving their lives after its frantic barking woke them, giving them time to escape before their house erupted into flames.

Chris Ingham and Kathy Kington's Gin Gin Rd two-storey Queenslander was destroyed by fire just after 3am Tuesday morning.

The couple were lucky to be alive after Mr Ingham said it took all his strength to kick open the bedroom window security screen, giving them just enough space to squeeze out and flee the house.

"What woke me up was the dog barking, I've never heard him bark like that he was hysterical," Mr Ingham said.

"I woke up to the sound of the dog barking and the smoke alarms but I don't believe it was the smoke alarms, I believe it was the dog.

"I walked to the (bedroom) door to open up the door.

"There were no flames visible it was just smoke and heat. Heat and smoke hit me and it near knocked me back into the room."

Mr Ingham said he kicked out the high set window in the top storey bedroom but realised it was too high off the ground so decided to try the other window, which lead out to the front balcony.

"I jumped to the other window and I kicked the living Jesus out of it. It wasn't moving the security screen. I kicked and kicked and booted," he said.

"It was only opening centimetre by centimetre, any body a bit older or a female, they wouldn't have done it. I was giving it everything I had and it was hardly moving."

Mr Ingham said as the room got hotter and hotter they were just able to slide out through the gap where they were met by a very happy DJ.

"He (DJ) knew we were inside," he said.

Mr Ingham said while the couple escaped with their lives, it could have been far worse and he urged everyone to look at their own security screens.

"People need to double check how they would escape," he said.

"We were stuck in that bedroom, seriously stuck."

By the time the fire brigade arrived the house had been destroyed leaving the couple with just their cars and a small amount of clothing.

"The fire brigade were absolutely brilliant, they saved the garage," Mr Ingham said.

Thankfully the couple were insured and investigations are ongoing into the cause of the blaze, which appears to an electrical fault.

"It could be the wiring in the wall," Mr Ingham said.

"All my appliances I turn off at the wall so I just don't know."

EARLIER: A HOUSE in Sharon has been destroyed by fire overnight.

The occupants of the home - two adults and a dog - escaped unharmed.

A Bundaberg Police spokesman said police received a call about 3.20am informing them that the two-storey Queenslander on Gin Gin Rd was on fire.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service Bundaberg Station officer Andrew McCracken said it responded with two urban vehicles and a total of nine staff.

"There was also two small rural vehicles there and a water tanker from the rural brigade," he said.

Mr McCracken said upon arrival the top floor was already consumed by the flames.

"It took some time to put the fire out," he said.

"All the contents in the house were destroyed but a nearby shed remained intact."

The police spokesman said the fire was not being treated as suspicious and police were still investigating the cause of the fire.

Topics:  bundaberg police editors picks fire police smoke alarm

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