Cody, a half-Rottweiler, half-Red Husky dog is credited with saving a northwest-side couple’s home and quite possibly their lives from fire early Monday morning in the 4500 block of N. Obetka, near La Cholla and Wetmore, said Northwest firefighters.

Brian and Debbie Stover were asleep when the fire broke out. Their home is equipped with smoke detectors and a carbon monoxide detector, but Brian, who is usually vigilant about installing new batteries, had removed the old ones but had not yet installed fresh ones.

Thanks to Cody’s persistent barking and attempts to wake the couple, they were able to escape the home before their only route was blocked and call 9-1-1.  “That dog saved our lives,” says Debbie.

The couple also has a cat, Frado, who is currently missing. They hope he is just in hiding and will surface soon.

Northwest firefighters were dispatched to the residence at 4:35 a.m., arrived at 4:41 and found fire extending from the furnace into the attic. They were able to extinguish the flame quickly, by 4:50 a.m., preventing further spread.

Investigators have determined that the fire started when a damaged vent on the heater allowed super-heated air to escape and ignite the wood encasement around the heater

“Without the dog waking the residents, this would have been a very different outcome,” said Northwest Fire Captain Adam Goldberg. “Because not everyone will have a hero dog, this should serve an alert to check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors every month and change the batteries once a year.

“Also,” added Goldberg, “if your smoke alarms are more than 10 years old, they should be replaced with combination ionization and photoelectric alarms.”

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