No won­der our pooch looks guilty... he tried to burn the doggone house down!

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - Femail - By Ge­orge Mair

MOST dogs limit their bad be­hav­iour to bark­ing at the postie or leav­ing muddy foot­prints on the car­pet.

But Har­ris the black labrador achieved a whole new level of ca­nine chaos – by set­ting the house on fire.

Left alone for just an hour, the six-month-old pet went ex­plor­ing in the kitchen and, while stand­ing on his hind legs, pushed a wicker bas­ket from the work­top onto the cooker.

Then, in a move that nearly proved fa­tal, he ac­ci­den­tally turned on the elec­tric hob.

By the time his own­ers re­turned, their home was filled with chok­ing black smoke – while their beloved pet had suc­cumbed to the fumes and was un­con­scious on the floor.

Fire­fight­ers who rushed to the scene were able to get the blaze un­der con­trol and also car­ried out emer­gency med­i­cal treat­ment, sav­ing Har­ris’ life by ad­min­is­ter­ing oxy­gen through a mask.

For­tu­nately, af­ter a night in the doggy in­ten­sive care unit, he made a full re­cov­ery.

Not so lucky were Har­ris’ own­ers, whose house was ren­dered un­in­hab­it­able by the smoke.

Last night, Fiona Milne and her fi­ancé Calum Camp­bell, from Lib­er­ton, Ed­in­burgh, ex­plained that the sit­u­a­tion could have been even worse.

Miss Milne, 25, said: ‘We went out for an hour to play bad­minton. When we came home we heard the alarm, opened the door and the house was full of smoke.

‘We ran in to the house but you couldn’t see any­thing at all in the kitchen be­cause the smoke was so thick.

‘We were feel­ing around for Har­ris, then Calum found him at the back door. He had his head in his wa­ter bowl and he was un­con­scious.

‘We just grabbed Har­ris and ran out­side to call the fire brigade.’

The fire caused more than £1,000 worth of dam­age. The cooker was beyond re­pair, as were some cup­boards, black­ened wall tiles and the kitchen cur­tains.

The veg­etable bas­ket and a boxed pic­ture frame that was on the work sur­face were de­stroyed by the fire.

The rest of the house was left un­in­hab­it­able be­cause of the smell of smoke which per­me­ated every cor­ner. Har­ris was rushed to a vet to be kept overnight in an ‘oxy­gen ken­nel’ where he was given med­i­ca­tion through a can­nula in his leg.

Miss Milne and Mr Camp­bell had to move in with her mother.

Miss Milne, a trainee para­le­gal with an Ed­in­burgh law firm, said: ‘Har­ris is usu­ally very obedient but he can be nosey.

‘We al­ways dog-proof the house but he must have been look­ing for a treat. We’re very lucky we came back when we did. If we’d come home later we could have lost the house and Har­ris.’ The cou­ple had planned to pick up some din­ner from a nearby su­per­mar­ket af­ter their game of bad­minton but had to re­turn home first as they had for­got­ten to bring money. Mr Camp­bell, 25, who works as an emer­gency call han­dler for Po­lice Scot­land, said: ‘When I went in the kitchen, I couldn’t see any­thing for smoke. ‘I found Har­ris with his head in the wa­ter bowl. His body was com­pletely limp. The fire­fight­ers couldn’t say how long Har­ris had been un­con­scious, but they said if we had been any later we would not have been so lucky.’

The Scot­tish Fire and Rescue Ser­vice con­firmed they were alerted to re­ports of smoke at the cou­ple’s house.

A spokesman said: ‘A fire ap­pli­ance from Lib­er­ton fire sta­tion at­tended the in­ci­dent and quickly put out a fire in the kitchen and ven­ti­lated the prop­erty.

‘Fire­fight­ers pro­vided oxy­gen for a pet dog.’

‘We were lucky that we came back when we did’

BARK­ING MAD: Har­ris got into the kitchen, pushed a wicker bas­ket onto the cooker, and then ac­ci­den­tally turned on the hob, start­ing a blaze that left the house filled with smoke IN THE DOG HOUSE: Har­ris nearly left own­ers Fiona Milne and Calum Camp­bell home­less DOWN, BOY! HOT DOG, ANY­ONE?

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