Dog Runs Upstairs To Save His Owner As House Is Burning Down

The fire started in the garage, possibly from a tool that was left plugged in. From there, it spread with terrible efficiency, engulfing the upper garage, then sweeping through the second floor of the house.

Robert Bova

Cleaning his room and listening to music, 27-year-old Randy Bova didn't have a clue the house was burning down around him.

"I think we would have lost my brother due to the speed the fire spread," Robert Bova, Randy's brother, says, his voice cracking with emotion, as he recounts the story to The Dodo.

Robert and Randy' mother, Lucy, wasn't home at the time of the fire, but Randy wasn't alone in the house that recent Saturday afternoon. He was stirred by a sudden, frantic barking at his door. It was the family dog, Bailey.

Robert Bova

When Randy swung open the door, amid the thick tendrils of smoke, Bailey stood barking in shrill warning.

Randy managed to scoop up the terrified dog and barrel downstairs through a wall of deadly smoke. Finally, he and Bailey stood in the backyard, watching the family home fade into the inferno.

"When he went out our back door, he looked at the side of the house, and the entire thing was engulfed in flames," Robert says.

The Guilford, Connecticut, family lost everything in that fire. Except, of course, the most important thing: their family. And they have the smallest member of it to thank for keeping it that way.

Robert Bova

It makes perfect sense for a dog who, since the day she arrived four years ago, has always been about family.

"She means the world to us," Robert says. "She brought me, my brother and my mother closer together as a family. Once we got this dog, she was the centerpiece of our family's relationship."

Robert Bova

Last week, that centerpiece held a family together. The rest of their world, on the other hand, will take some rebuilding.

Robert grew up in that house. Now, it's just smouldering memories. The family is now living in a hotel.

"We all haven't really began to fully cope with it," he says. "It's kind of coming in waves. The first time I got to the hotel and I shut the door. I was in there by myself. I started crying."

Even Bailey feels the weight of that loss.

Robert Bova

"She's overcome," Robert says, "We brought her back to the house in its current state. She kind of just sat in the backyard and stared. It was really intense."

If you would like to help this family rebuild their lives, consider making a donation to their GoFundMe page here.