A furry rescue from a fiery situation

FROM STAFF REPORTS / Editorial

Derek Walker and wife Maria Gilbert were asleep in their house when their Great Dane Ralph started barking. With Ralph normally quiet during the night, Walker, who is also a deep sleeper, awoke to investigate the barking only to see flames outside the window.

From there, Walker jumped into action to get his family and their pets out of the house before it was engulfed by the fire.

Over the next few minutes, he sprinted around the house to get his wife and kids outside, before then running back in with smoke now filling the rooms. This time, he got Ralph out and attempted to rescue the family’s two pet pigs.

He coerced one of them out of the room, but the other didn’t make it. By the time the fire department arrived four minutes after the call was placed, the majority of the house was already lost.

But because of Ralph’s late-night bark, the family was not.

Walker and Gilbert both tabbed the K-9 as their hero because with no smoke alarms going off, without his bark, the family might not have made it through the night.

Emergency workers on the scene told the family that if they had noticed the fire even a few minutes later, that there was the possibility they could have all died.

Even when Walker ran in his son’s bedroom to pull him out, it was already full of smoke and they could barely breathe. Minutes later, and Walker may not have even been able to enter the room.

It’s one of those situations that blows your mind, and one that puts life into perspective.

For Walker and Gilbert, their lives flashed before their eyes, but Ralph new his family was in danger as well as his own life and didn’t hesitate to make sure they knew.

And for Walker to wake up from a deep sleep due to the bark and immediately spring into action was remarkable. It took a perfect series of events to make sure the family made it through the night, and it all started with Ralph’s bark at 2:20 in the morning.

Thank you Ralph for your heroism.