Lifestyle & Human Interest

Family Escapes Devastating House Fire Thanks to Loyal Dog That Woke Them Up Just in Time


While Chloe Antonelli, 21, slept soundly in her Alabama home, her dog Harper was wide awake with a troubling premonition.

Antonelli was home alone with her younger brother, Tyler Thrasher, 13, when the house caught fire overnight.

Only their German shepherd, Harper, sensed the burning blaze and scratched repeatedly at Tyler’s door to try and wake him up.

Harper’s persistence paid off, and soon Tyler woke up and went into the kitchen for a drink of water.

Terror must have leaped into his being as the teen saw flames and smoke inside his family’s Southside, Alabama, home.

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He rushed to wake up his sister, and the siblings made it out of the home just in time.

The children’s parents, Trent and Jenny Thrasher, were worried sick when they got the phone call that their home was on fire.

The couple had traveled to New Orleans to celebrate Trent’s 50th birthday, according to The Gadsden Times. The celebration came to an abrupt halt as the pair drove back to Alabama to check on their children and home.

The family lost all of their personal belongings in the fire, but they are thankful they have their lives.

According to The Gadsden Times, the home is a total loss.

In the aftermath of the blaze, the family initially feared that their dachshund, Sophie, perished in the flames. To everyone’s relief and unexpected joy, the pup turned up about a day later.

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Antonelli credits Harper with saving her and her brother’s lives.

“If it wasn’t for Harper making noise, we probably wouldn’t be here,” Antonelli told WBRC.

She added that the timing of the fire was oddly in their favor, as the once misbehaved Harper had recently completed a training course that Antonelli believes empowered the dog to alert the family of danger.

“She just went through training, so it’s crazy, it’s like, she was supposed to go through that,” Antonelli said. “I mean, it’s crazy how things added up, it’s like, it’s insane, is all the words I can say.”

The cause of the fire is still under investigation and the Thrasher family is left to start over, but they are thankful for the firefighters, neighbors and friends who have rallied around them in the days following the devastating fire.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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