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Dog alerts sleeping family to house fire in Port Lavaca (video)

By Sonny Long
May 7, 2012 at 12:07 a.m.
Updated May 8, 2012 at 12:08 a.m.

The Olivarez family credits Sandy the Chihuahua with waking them up as their Port Lavaca home caught fire early morning.

HOW TO HELP

To learn how to assist the Olivarez family, contact the Crossroads Chapter of the American Red Cross at 361-573-2671. Family members' clothes sizes include:

DianaPants - Size 3

Shirt - Medium

Shoes - Size 7

StevanPants - Size 38 x 34

Shirt - Size 3XL

Shoes - Size 13

MoniquePants - Size 13 (stretch)

Shirt - Size 2XL

Shoe- Size 11

PORT LAVACA - Sandy the dog wasn't acting right early Monday morning.

Everyone in the Olivarez home on Nueces Street was asleep when the 8-year-old, brown Chihuahua-mix began "going crazy, running around and barking," Diana Olivarez said.

"She pawed at my daughter's face, waking her up. Then our daughter woke us up," said Olivarez, who has lived in the home for about four years with husband Stevan Olivarez and teenage daughter Monique.

Opening the door to the living room, the trio were met with flames and smoke.

"We couldn't see anything. We grabbed each other, held on and made our way out the door," Olivarez said. "If it wasn't for Sandy, we would have died."

"She saved our lives. She's our hero," said Olivarez.

All three escaped the home unharmed. Sandy also made it out safely, but her puppy died in the blaze that gutted the double-wide mobile home.

The Port Lavaca Fire Department responded to the fire at 3:28 a.m, said Fire Chief Anthony Calagna.

"There were flames showing through the roof when we arrived," the fire chief said. "It started in the kitchen, in the electric stove."

The fire was under control in about 20 minutes, Calagna said. The outside of the home appears unscathed, but the inside is a total loss.

The Olivarezes lost all of their belongings in the blaze. They do not have insurance.

They are temporarily staying with another daughter and son-in-law - Danny and Roxanne Munoz - who live two houses down the street.

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