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Hero dog dies in house fire after saving his family by alerting them to the overnight blaze


'He was back and forth. He was bed to bed, back and forth.'

Image source: WTVT-TV video screenshot

A Florida family is in mourning after an overnight fire claimed their home, belongings, and the life of their dog, Zippy, who is being credited with saving them.

What are the details?

Around 2 a.m. on Tuesday, Leroy Butler was awakened by chirping from the fire alarm in his hallway. "It only lasted a short 'beep beep' and then it was already on fire," the homeowner told WTVT-TV. "It was gone."

While the alarm sputtered out, Zippy sprang into action. The Jack Russell Terrier darted from room to room, alerting Butler's father and two children, who were also asleep at the time of the blaze.

"He was back and forth. He was bed to bed, back and forth," Butler told the outlet.

The family was able to escape to safety, but Zippy did not make it out. Butler tried to go back in for the dog, but the fire had grown too large. "The floor of the living room was all on fire so there was nowhere for him to run out," Butler told WTVT. "Even if the smoke was this high. He was a short little dog. There was nowhere for him to go."

By the time firefighters put out the blaze and found Zippy, he had passed away from the smoke.

WSTP-TV reported that the Butler family had adopted Zippy from the Humane Society of Manatee County.

"He was a good dog," Butler told the outlet. "He did his job, we rescued him, and I guess he returned the favor."

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