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May 20, 2014

Dog dies in fire after saving owners’ lives

Woodbine house completely destroyed by Monday blaze

CORBIN — By LeeAnn Cain / Staff Writer

A family dog perished after saving its owners’ lives in a house fire on HWY 1064 in Woodbine Monday morning.

Delmes Powell said the small dog’s barking woke his wife, Glenda Powell, and his daughter, Natitia Younts, about 5 a.m. Glenda Powell woke him, and he said the smoke was so thick it was almost impossible to breathe. The dog then ran under the bed, where the Powells could not retrieve it in time to save its life.

“If it weren’t for that little dog, we wouldn’t have made it out of there in time,” Delmes Powell said. “If we would have slept five more minutes we wouldn’t have made it. That little dog saved our lives.”

Delmes Powell said one side of the house was already consumed by flames when he woke up.

“It went up like a Roman candle,” Delmes Powell said. When he awoke, he said the smoke was just inches from the ground, and the family had to crawl out of the home.

The house was completely destroyed by the fire, and a detached shed was damaged. The family’s Cadillac also suffered minor damage.

The Powells lived in the home for roughly 20 years. According to Delmes Powell, Younts was visiting her parents and had decided to stay overnight.

According to Woodbine Fire and Rescue Chief Rick Fore, it took 20 firefighters about 3 1/2 hours to contain the fire. Woodbine was assisted by Oak Grove Fire Department. Rick Fore said a firefighter sprained his ankle battling the blaze, and Younts was tended to by Whitley County EMS for minor skin irritation from the fire.

Rick Fore said the origin of the fire is unknown, and it isn’t considered suspicious.

The fire rekindled around 2:30 p.m. Monday, and it took three firefighters from Woodbine around an hour to put the fire out. According to Battalion Chief Rickie Fore, the Powells had asked the fire department to allow the house to burn, but complaints from the neighbor about ashes landing on the roof of her house prompted the fire department to return to the scene and once again douse the flames. Rickie Fore said the rekindling was simply caused by hot spots.

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