A hero’s tail

Townsville Bulletin - - Front Page - by Nathan Paull nathan. paull@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

SIX­TEEN-year-old bi­chon frise Bron­son is be­ing hailed a hero by his owner Chris Boyle af­ter sound­ing the alarm when a fire broke out in his home on Tues­day night.

THEY say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but try telling that to 16-year-old pint-sized pooch Bron­son.

The coura­geous canine saved his fam­ily from a house fire on Tues­day night and owner Chris Boyle said ev­ery­one in the house would be dead if it were not for brave Bron­son’s ef­forts.

Mr Boyle said he was about to go to sleep about 10pm when he saw his old pet bi­chon frise, who is deaf, visi on i mpaired and arthritic, be­com­ing agi­tated.

‘‘ Bron­son was griz­zling and whim­per­ing and I thought it was his arthri­tis,’’ Mr Boyle said. ‘‘ I got his medicine, but he still kept car­ry­ing on, not acting like him­self and then I smelled smoke.’’

Af­ter i nves­ti­gat­ing, Mr Boyle re­alised smoke was bil­low­ing out of the roof of his Yar­ra­wonga home’s mas­ter bed­room, se­verely dam­aged dur­ing Cy­clone Yasi.

He said he called 000 and emer­gency crews were quick to ar­rive. Mr Boyle, though, feared the worst would have hap­pened if it were not for his re­li­able pet, which the f am­ily had owned s i nce Bron­son was a puppy.

‘‘ I would say with­out any ques­tion of a doubt we would have all died of as­phyx­i­a­tion in our sleep,’’ he said.

‘ ‘ I know enough about smoke and about fires to know we would have just been as­phyx­i­ated and the fire would have taken the whole top floor out, if not the whole house. We all would have been dead.’’

Mr Boyle, who owns Pay­less Chemists, said af­ter Bron­son’s life-sav­ing alert, he and his gen­eral man­ager Ja­son Rid­ings, who was also staying at the house, were able to turn off the power and es­cape safely.

He said af­ter fire crews searched his prop­erty, they found a trans­former in his r o o f c o v e r e d i n c y c l o ne de­bris had been set alight.

The proud pet owner said he dreaded what would have hap­pened if his wife Louise, who had in­jured her back dur­ing cy­clone clean-up ef­forts, had been home by her­self when the fire started.

Mr Boyle said his wife was in hos­pi­tal at the time of the or­deal and was shocked when she heard the news.

Mr Boyle said his pet would now be spoiled even more than usual for his ef­forts.

‘‘ I think he’d get an ex­tra treat tonight for sure.’’

Photo: FIONA HARD­ING

WON­DER­DOG: Chris Boyle with his pet Bron­son

Photo: FIONA HARD­ING

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