A devoted dog saved her owner’s life from a potentially deadly fire by constantly barking to alert him to a carbon monoxide alarm he couldn’t hear.
David Salisbury’s Yorkshire Terrier Tiny woke him at 5:30am in the morning with her incessant yapping by his bedside.
When widower David, 88, investigated what she was barking at, he discovered she was reacting to a carbon monoxide alarm triggered by a blaze in the flat next to his house.
He credits his three-year-old terrier’s super-hearing with saving his life because he hadn’t heard the faint alarm downstairs.
Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that poses a serious threat to health if exposure occurs. It can’t be detected by smell, taste or sight, and is known as ‘the silent killer’.
He said: “She’s got super hearing, any kind of noise will set her off but as I’m a bit hard of hearing I didn’t register it.
“If she hadn’t started sleeping in the bedroom I don’t think I’d have survived. There’s no way I’d have heard that alarm. She really is my hero.
“I’ve still got an achy chest, and I feel a bit wobbly but I’m lucky to be alive.”
As he woke he noticed a very thin veil of smoke, so he opened the bedroom window and went downstairs to check the kitchen.
But as he struggled to breathe and his chest was feeling increasingly tight, he heard the faint ringing sound coming from a carbon monoxide alarm.
He added: “I called the fire brigade and then I saw thick clouds of black smoke pouring out of the flat next door. Front and back.”
The retired electrical design engineer was checked over by medics at the scene.
He then watched as the fire brigade discover the burning flat had a cannabis factory inside.
Around 120 plants were found in the upper floors where they had been growing under powerful lights.
He added: “It was a very sophisticated set up. There had been an electrical overload, because they’d bypassed the meter.”
David suspects this is why his faithful Yorkie had started feeling anxious in the room where she used to sleep.
She had sensitive hearing and was often upset by strange noises.
He said: “I used to say ‘it’s beddy byes’ and Tiny would go into her little bed in the kitchen, but she changed. She’d just slump under the kitchen table, or refuse to move.”
After a couple of weeks, the doting dog owner let his companion sleep in the bedroom, and she was back to her normal self.
David was taken to hospital to be checked for carbon monoxide poisoning, but was discharged the same day.
His Blackpool flat is currently not safe to go back to, and he is living with his daughter and son-in-law.