Rufus the hero
Amber Barse said her 6-month-old pit bull mix saved her life and the life of her boyfriend by alerting them to a Sunday morning fire at Barse's apartment near Fairmont.
The dog started barking at about 5 a.m., waking the couple from a deep slumber.
The boyfriend, Cam Myles, fought off the blaze with a fire extinguisher long
enough for Barse to get Rufus, a cat and two ferrets outside.
A family who lived in a ground-level apartment also made it out safely.
Though Barse lost just about everything in the fire, she said she's thankful
to be alive and that all of her pets are safe.
"If we didn't have that dog, we'd be dead,'' her boyfriend said.
On Sunday night, they showered Rufus with treats, praise and a trip to a pet
supply store. It "was pretty much Christmas for him,'' Myles said.
The cause of the fire has not been determined, but fire officials think it
was accidental and may have been related to a gas heater.