When Laverne Dillon, an elderly woman living in Holiday, Florida, went to bed one night, she couldn’t have imagined what would happen while she was asleep.
The Florida resident, who told WFLA that she suffers from a lung disease that requires her to use oxygen tanks to breathe, lives alone with her boxer, Bubba.
One of the pair’s favorite pastimes, according to Dillon, is watching her iPad together. That evening, Dillon left the device in an outlet in the kitchen to charge overnight.
Only a few hours later, the iPad somehow caught fire, sending smoke pouring through Dillon’s house.
While she slept peacefully, Bubba woke up and knew something was wrong. Making his way through the smoke-filled home, the dog raced to Dillon’s bedroom and nipped her hand to wake her.
“He scared me,” Dillon told WFLA. “He came through that door like he was a gorilla. He knew I was in trouble.”
Dillon woke up and immediately began trying to put out the flames. But the fire was too much for her, and she and Bubba fled the house.
“Bubba was snorting, trying to breathe, but couldn’t. I opened all the windows and got us out of there as we waited for the fire department,” she said.
Firefighters soon arrived on the scene and discovered the danger that waited inside — potentially explosive oxygen tanks.
The responders told Dillon exactly what a hero Bubba was. If he hadn’t woken her up when he did, the oxygen tanks used to treat her illness very easily could have exploded, killing Dillon and possibly her neighbors as well.
“They said the chemicals alone would have filled the house, and if I had not woken up, I probably would have died in bed, and the tanks could have exploded,” she said.
Thankful to be alive, Dillon says she will do what it takes to pick up the pieces.
“Obviously I’d love a new iPad,” she said. “Bubba and I used to watch the iPad together, so I guess we can’t anymore. But, we’ll be just fine.”
One Twitter user saw Dillon’s story online and reached out to Apple, asking that the company send the elderly woman and Bubba a new iPad.
@AppleSupport please give this woman a new iPad
— Ivana Hrynkiw Shatara (@IvanaSuzette) October 2, 2019
But Dillon is just grateful for what she has, saying that she still has what is most important to her: life, companionship and beautiful surroundings.
“Look how beautiful it is outside, look where we live. Life is good. I may not know how long I have, but I am here with my dog and happy. I love him, and he loves me. He saved my life.”
“He’s my hero,” she said.
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