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Tuesday September 26th 2017

Dog emerges from wreckage of home destroyed in fire

A Vancouver Island dog can look forward to a few extra treats and a lot more affection after it survived a massive fire that burned its family’s home to the ground.

The Nanaimo family fled the burning house to safety early on Saturday morning, but their 200-pound English Mastiff Daisy was nowhere to be found.

By the time firefighters arrived on scene, the blaze had pushed up into the attic, and the family was forced to watch helplessly as the building collapsed. Daisy was presumed dead.

But when an excavator was brought in the next day, it caused a major shift in the wreckage. Onlookers shouted out in disbelief as they watched the missing dog run out to greet its family, a full 12 hours after the fire.

“I’ve never seen anything like that,” said Capt. Doug Bell, a 30-year veteran of Nanaimo Fire Rescue. “Nobody expected that dog to come out of that building alive.”

Daisy had inhaled some smoke, suffered minor burns and was soaking wet and covered with ash, but otherwise OK.

“The dog was definitely happy to see the owner, and I know it was mutual,” Bell said.

“To see the owner of the dog and the dog back together again was just unbelievable. Even now, it sends shivers up my back just thinking of it.”

He said that one wall of home was still partially standing, and Daisy may have found a safe haven nearby.

“The dog must have just rolled up in the corner and gone to sleep,” he said.

The cause of the blaze is still under investigation, but Bell said it appears to be electrical.

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