Dog has her day, hailed as a hero | Boston Herald
Dog has her day, hailed as a hero
Chelsea 3 Alarm Fire
Saturday, September 20, 2014
By: Prisca Pointdujour
They call a dog man’s best friend for this reason: Calie, a 7-year-old pit bull, refused to quit barking yesterday until Yvon Guillaume realized a three-alarm blaze was consuming the family’s Chelsea home.
“She’s a hero,” Guillaume said of the pet who started barking before the home’s fire alarms sounded.
Guillaume, 56, who has lived in the home he shares with his sister-in-law, two nephews and niece for 19 years, said he was alone when the fire broke out.
Although he initially ignored Calie’s warning, Guillaume said he knew something was wrong when the dog kept barking.
“I ran to check the alarm, see if they left anything plugged in, but I didn’t see anything,” he said.
While checking the house for smoke, Guillaume said he found a small fire in a storage room in the attic and called for help.
“That’s the first time I’ve ever seen anything like that. I was so panicked. I felt my body drop. I didn’t know where to go,” Guillaume said. “The only thing I thought is, ‘Call the fire department.’ ”
Chelsea Deputy Fire Chief Paul Giancola said Guillaume’s frantic call came in about noon yesterday and firefighters battled the flames for more than three hours. Calie was still inside when firefighters arrived, but they managed to pull her out to safety.
The cause of the fire, Gian-cola said, is still under investigation, and it’s unclear what can be recovered from the scorched home. There were no reported injuries, he said.
“It’s burned pretty good. As far as rebuilding it, that’s pretty close to on the fence,” Giancola said.
Another tenant of the building, Marie Yolette Casseus, said her son, Yves Casseus, “lost everything” in the fire and was left with “nothing but the clothes he was wearing.”
Guillaume was outside into the evening, talking to neighbors and firefighters while family members waited in the car with their courageous canine. Guillaume said firefighters told them it was unsafe to return.
The American Red Cross is helping his family find a hotel for the night and neighbors were quick to offer support.
“I left them my number in case they need anything,” neighbor Laurinda Burns said. “The