SEAFORD: Benji hailed wonder-dog

Annie Bolton, Chris Coughlan's partner, with Benji, who came to the rescue when a blaze broke out
Annie Bolton, Chris Coughlan's partner, with Benji, who came to the rescue when a blaze broke out
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A DOG saved its owner’s life by waking him up when a blaze broke out in the family home.

Chris Coughlan said he was fast asleep and had been unaware of the fire on the roof of the High Street flat until his Yorkshire Terrier alerted him.

Speaking after the drama, which unfolded last Thursday afternoon, he said, “He started barking and waking me up and I looked out of the window and saw the smoke. He was going absolutely bonkers.

“Without Benji, God knows what would have happened.”

He also praised the speedy response of the firefighters who were on the scene shortly after the call came in just before 1pm.

The drama saw neighbour Olga Jenkins flee her home in her dressing gown. She was just about to have a shower when she saw clouds of smoke. She said, “It was about midday and I was in my bedroom. I got a smell of smoke but thought it might be from someone smoking.

“I came into the kitchen when I saw clouds of smoke and then saw people from the antiques shop looking up.

“I saw my neighbour with his dog and he said, ‘Get out there’s a fire’ and I saw the guttering in flames.”

Four fire engines were sent to the scene and onlookers watched as the team removed tiling from the roof area. The area was cordoned off and motorists were unable to travel down that part of the High Street.

A total of 21 fire officers were at the scene and three jets were used during Thursday’s fire.

Watch commander Rolando Hutchinson said the cause of the fire was under investigation and confirmed no-one had been injured.