A rescue dog paid it forward to the family that brought him home, when he saved their one-year-old daughter from their burning building.
A Detroit family picked the right pooch when they chose to adopt pitbull-Labrador mix, Blue, from a local animal shelter two years ago.
Janet Kelly told The Daily Mail that Blue is “very protective” of her four children, aged one to nine, but she didn’t know much until he raced into a burning building to save her baby, Chantal.
On Feb. 21, the family’s apartment caught fire when when a child from the unit below them was playing with a lighter and torched a mattress.
Kelly and her three eldest children were at Walmart with with her fiance, but Chantal was home in the care of her uncle.
The three-story house was instantly engulfed in black smoke and flames, which prevented the uncle from being able to reach Chantal, who was trapped on the second floor.
“I got a phone call that the house was on fire. My fiancé’s brother was at the home and he’s the one that called.” Kelly said about the ordeal.
“He was trying to rush and get the dog, the kids, and everybody out of the house.”
When firefighters arrived, the house was a raging inferno, but the former street dog managed to get them to go inside when he ran back into the building.
Kelly said firefighters chased after the dog, unaware that he was leading them to Chantal, who was trapped in her playpen.
The dog was dubbed a hero, once firefighters realized that he had led them to the forgotten baby, who was miraculously still alive.
Chantal was lucky to escape with her life, but the family lost everything and did not have renter’s insurance.
They were living out of a minivan until they were able to gather enough money to afford a hotel.
Kelly tried to get compensation for her family’s lost possessions, but their uncaring landlord told her “to start a GoFundMe page and go to a shelter” with her children.
“I just paid him rent two days prior to this, so when I asked him if he could give me something back, I got told ‘No, I have bills, too,'” she told USA Today.
Despite the landlord’s lack of empathy, the advice to start a donation page turned out to be solid.
Kelly set up a GoFundMe in an effort to move her family into a hotel until they could find other housing.
“Our entire life has been turned upside down,” she wrote. “I’ve reached out to the landlord (no help), I’ve reached out churches and organizations but still no help, so here I am.”
Kelly noted that setting up a donation page was “her last resort,” and that “anything” people were willing to give would be much “appreciated.”
The fundraiser netted the family $101,520 of a $100,000 goal. On March 2, Kelly updated the page with good news.
“I would like to thank everyone for all the help and everything,” she wrote. “This money will be applied to a new home for us. No more donations are needed.”