Skye’s a hero to father, son

Karla Kelly, The Digby Courier
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Dog’s barking wakes owner as fire ‘falls from ceiling’

ASHMORE - An Ashmore man and his son said they are lucky to be alive and give full credit to their dog for alerting them to a fire that ripped through their Lewiston Road home early Friday morning.

Robert Hurst said he was asleep on the couch in the living room early Friday morning when his 23-week-old dog ‘Skye’ jumped on his chest, alerting him to the fire.

“When Skye woke me up, the house was full of smoke,” said Hurst. “I couldn’t see anything, even the dog, and my eyes and throat were burning from the smoke.”

Hurst said fire was falling from the ceiling onto the kitchen floor when he raced into the bedroom of his son, Bobby.

“I hollered that the house was on fire,” said Hurst. “I had my pants and a tee-shirt on and Bobby just his boxers when we fled the house.

“After we called 911, Bobby went back in for my boots but only found an odd pair for himself.”

Both men thought the dog was with them outside but discovered that Skye, a Little River duck toller and Lab mix, had remained inside, under the coffee table. Bobby ended up going back in for her and was nearly overcome with smoke.

“I helped Bobby get Skye and once we had her out, we put her in the van. She was afraid of the fire and shook and shivered until the smoke got out of her lungs.”  

Hurst called his daughter Amanda who also lives on the Lewiston Road to bring some clothes for Bobby.

“All she had was a pair of pink pajama bottoms that would fit him but standing out in a blizzard you wear them,” chuckled Hurst.

Fire departments from Weymouth, Plympton, St. Bernard and Brighton-Barton responded to the call which came in around 1:30 a.m.

Hurst said the plow came through to make a path for the fire trucks but damaged the van he had moved onto the road.

“I was working on a van and put it in the road to make room in the yard for the trucks. The snow plow damaged it while clearing the road.”

High winds and extreme temperatures hampered firefighting efforts but the blaze was out by 6:30 a.m.

Hurst believed the fire started when the chimney overheated, setting the rafters ablaze.

Hurst, who is a diabetic, said he lost all his medication and prescriptions but is thankful that the Digby PharmaChoice replaced everything free of charge.

Speaking in a telephone interview Monday morning, Hurst said he was overwhelmed by the number of people who have donated clothing to him and his son.

“We’ve had donations of clothing and offers of furniture,” he said. “We are staying at the Siesta Motel for right now and are seeking a permanent place to live.”

No matter where the two men end up, it has to be a place that includes Skye.

She is family, she is our hero,” Hurst said. “We were so amazed that this pup would save our lives.

“We lost everything we had, but the fire has changed my whole outlook on life. I feel lucky to be alive.”

Geographic location: Little River, Lewiston Road, Weymouth

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