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Hero pit bull saves Ashland family from house fire

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HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) -- A rescue dog is being hailed a hero after alerting a family to an early morning house fire in Ashland.

Tina Sharpe's sister owns Sammie, the pit bull. She said the dog typically sleeps through the night, but that wasn't the case Sunday morning.

"She started jumping around on me, jumping on and off the bed," said Sharpe, who realized something wasn't right.

"When I got up I couldn't see anything, the entire room filled with smoke," she said.

A fire had started in Tina's mother's house that had six family members inside at the time. Sharpe said it was Sammie who got the entire family up.

"Words can't even explain it. She saved everybody," Sharpe said.

"If it wasn't for the dog, we'd be dead," said Brenda Sharpe, who owns the home.

Battalion Chief Jason Williams told CBS 6 News when firefighters arrived, they spotted heavy flames coming from the back of the home.

Brenda Sharpe said it was the chimney that caught fire. The fireplace was one of the ways she and her family were keeping warm during Sunday's storm.
But now, they're left without a home.

"Everything is gone. Clothes, shoes, pocketbook, everything," said Cindy Perry, Brenda's daughter.

Although they don't know when they'll be able to return home, Brenda and her family are giving thanks for the dog they rescued, who in turn rescued them.

"She is a hero," Tina Sharpe said.

The American Red Cross is assisting the family.


  • M.L. Adams

    Bullies have been given such a bad rep that it always makes me smile when I see a positive story about one! I’ve had a lot of dogs over the past 45 years, all rescues, and our current guest, a Pit Bull, is the most gentle, caring, and yes, protective dog I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing!

  • lori tanner

    Reluctantly accepted a pit bull/lab mix as a gift. It’s the smartest, and alert dog I’ve ever owned. What a hero. I’m guessing they take good care of their pet.

  • Grizzily

    I reluctantly agreed to our daughter’s idea to adopt a dog locally, which where we live means ‘pit bull’, pretty much. What a terrific dog, an amazing animal. We wouldn’t have any other kind now.

  • Suzie Davis

    Not everything. You have whats important. Each other and a very special pitty that loves you. They are so magnificent with great big hearts. We currently have 2 and a min pin. So fun watching them play fight with her. She is less than 10 pounds.

  • LoyaltyOfDogs

    Many of the dogs who served as mascots in the Civil War were pit bulls and were known for their devotion to the soldiers. Some, like Sallie, the bull terrier whose bronze statue is on the Gettysburg Battlefield, remain famous even today for their loyalty.

  • Theresa Dufore

    Danielle, much love to you and your ENTIRE family! I am SO sorry for your tragic loss and hope you all get back on your feet again quickly. And you are all so lucky to still have each other. Special huggs to Sammie from me and my pack, we’re three pitties and a chihuahua. :-D XO <3

  • Theresa Dufore

    Love the comments of the “hesitant” pittie owners, lol! I was one myself about 10 years ago… daughter said she wanted a pitbull puppy and I said “oh no you DON’T”. Haha, little did I know how much pure love and loyalty they have to offer. :-D LOVE the pittie breed and will always have at least one!

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