Dog alerts family to RV fire in LaVerkin

LaVerkin resident Kristi Smith's dog, named Bear, date and location not specified | Photo courtesy of Kristi Smith, St. George News

ST. GEORGE —  Thanks to her dog, a woman was able to get to safety and alert her neighbors after their RV burst into flames in LaVerkin Saturday.

LaVerkin resident Kristi Smith’s dog, named Bear, date and location not specified | Photo courtesy of Kristi Smith, St. George News

LaVerkin resident Kristi Smith said she was sleeping at around 11:15 p.m. Saturday when she heard her dog, named Bear, barking and making a shrieking sound she’d never heard her make before. Bear kept running up and down the hallway and finally approached Smith, who was in bed at the time.

Bear grabbed and began gnawing on Smith’s hand to wake her up.

“If it wasn’t for her,” Smith said, “I wouldn’t have gone to my front door.”

Smith said she originally thought Bear was trying to wake her because her kids might have been knocking on the door since they were out late. But when Smith opened her front door, all she could see was billowing smoke coming into her home.

“I couldn’t see in front of me,” she said.

Smith couldn’t see her cars in the driveway but was able to see flames near her neighbor’s house. She said she thought her neighbor’s house was on fire, but it ended up being their RV.

With the burning RV blocking her way, Smith said she hopped her neighbor’s fence into their front yard to access the property. She pounded on their front door until they woke up and got out safely.

A fire in an RV is extinguished Saturday in LaVerkin, Utah, June 2, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Kristi Smith, St. George News

After she called 911, crews from Hurricane Valley Fire District put out the fire before it fully engulfed the RV.

“They said it was just moments away from fully engulfing,” she said. “It was parked right up against the front of the house, so it would have taken their house, plus mine and our cars.”

She was treated for smoke inhalation, but other than that, Smith said, there were no serious injuries.

Bear originally belonged to Smith’s son, who is away serving in the U.S. Navy.

She couldn’t be more grateful for the dog, Smith said.

“The dog door wasn’t open for her to be in the backyard and notice the smoke, so her senses were definitely on high,” she said. “Nobody would have known if it wasn’t for my dog Bear.”

The RV caught fire after her neighbors turned on the RV Saturday night to cool down the refrigerator, Smith said.

Officials from the Hurricane Valley Fire District were not immediately available for comment Sunday.

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Twitter: @STGnews | @markeekaenews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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