That’s the last box,” Josh Fogle told his wife, Lauren, as the Shidler, Oklahoma, couple, their twin 4-year-old daughters and dog, Alice, moved in with her parents to save money for a down payment on a new house. “It’s going to be great having you here!” his father-in-law, Mark Scott, smiled, never imagining just
how true those words would be.
Two nights later, around midnight, while the rest of the family slept, Josh was watching TV after a late shift at work when he heard Alice barking in the yard. She must’ve gone out through the doggie door, he thought. I hope it’s not a raccoon!
“What’s up?” Josh asked, slipping out the patio door, as the pup dashed up, let out a sharp bark, then sprinted to the far end of the house. You have to come right now! Alice’s insistent barks seemed to be saying. So Josh followed her — and when he glanced up, he spotted an orange glow in the window of the attached garage.
“Oh my God!” Josh gasped, and dashed back inside. “Everybody get out! There’s a fire!” he cried to his family. As his wife and in-laws emerged from bedrooms, he scrambled into his daughters’
room. And grabbing Lacey and Leonna by the hand, he led the
group down the hallway and through the den as he heard popping and crackling as the whole house began to fill with thick, dark smoke.
Once everyone was safely outside, Alice greeted them with kisses, tail wagging. Thank goodness you’re okay. I love you all so much! her wide eyes seemed to say. Lauren called 911 and firefighters soon arrived and extinguished the roaring blaze. “You’re lucky you had smoke detectors. That fire burned so hot and fast, another few minutes…” But the smoke detectors hadn’t gone off…investigators determined the fire had melted them!
“Alice was our smoke detector,” Lauren exclaimed, hugging their furry hero. Today, the Scotts have rebuilt, and Lauren’s family — and Alice — is settled into their new house. “Thank God for Alice!” Lauren beams. “She was always my first baby. Now she’s our hero too!”
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Animal Heroes.