Dog saves two women from house fire

GREENSBORO — A persistent dog named Bam provided the best Valentine's Day gift ever for a woman and her niece.

Bam is credited with saving the lives of Rebecca Hanlin, 33, and her 48-year-old aunt Dorcas Ellis by alerting them their two-level home was on fire early this morning.

Although the women escaped without harm, Bam suffered smoke inhalation and was found unconscious by fire fighters upstairs, according Battalion Chief Bill Lentz.

Bam, a brown and white mixed-breed more than a year old, is recovering at Sedgefield Animal Hospital on High Point Road.

Bam will stay there for overnight observation.

Dr. Brooke Schwarbenten says Bam is very tired from the ordeal and “is doing OK, but is not out of the woods.’’

Fire fighters responded to the 4:53 a.m. blaze at 3720 Clifton Road. It was brought under control in less than an hour, Lentz said.

An electrical shortage in the panel box in the laundry room caused the fire, he said.

The fire caused an estimated $40,000 in damage to the home, which is more than 100 years old.

"It was pretty much unspecified electrical failure," Lentz said. "Being an older home, being over a 100 years old, it probably had some old wiring."

Although the smoke detector was working, it was Bam's barking that's credited with waking up Hanlin and Ellis.

"That's what the occupants are telling us," Lentz said. "They were awakened by the dog's persistent barking."

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