Bella the dog now a ‘hero’ after alerting Washington family of a fire

Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 10:13 PM CDT
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PEORIA (Heart of Illinois ABC) - This dog is more than a friend. She’s being called a hero for waking up a Washington family when the house was on fire.

It’s not the family’s dog. They were dog-sitting for a friend. Now, the dog owner hopes to raise money for the family, which lost almost everything.

6-year-old Bella’s barks saved the day.

“She’s like, ‘Bella just saved our life,’” said Lisa Fenwick, Bella’s owner.

Early Friday, Bella alerted the family to the danger.

“They watch her anytime we got out of town and we were going to Indianapolis just to do something,” said Fenwick.

Fenwick planned to bring Bella over Friday morning to the Ochs-Corpuz family, but decided last minute to drop her off Thursday night. That early drop off likely saved the family’s life.

“Within minutes the fire went from the shed to the garage, on top of the garage to the upstairs of the house,” said Fenwick.

In that time, everything was damaged from either smoke or water from the responding firefighters.

Now, Fenwick is trying to raise funds for her friends of 20-years, the Ochs-Corpuz family.

“They’re still processing everything,” Fenwick continued, “They’ll be starting all over.”

The Ochs-Corpuz family said off-camera that they’re grateful for the support and Bella.

“The whole time I’m like my dogs okay, the family’s fine, but of course you always think of what if, things could have been a lot worse,” said Fenwick.

The Washington Fire Chief says the cause is still under investigation.

Donations can be made to the Ochs-Corpuz Family Fund at the Washington Community Bank.

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