Pit bull warns family, saves infant during fire

By: Nick McGurk Email
By: Nick McGurk Email

A home is destroyed but a family of 3 is alive thanks to Thor, the pit bull being called a hero.

Around 3 a.m. Thursday a family slept soundly as fire ripped through their home.

Pit bull Thor tried to wake both Kemper Hunter and Sarah Laughlin, asleep on the couch.

Neither woke up, so Thor kept barking – even biting his owner, Hunter.

“He started barking, it made me upset, so I sat up,” said Hunter. “There it was, our house on fire,” he said.

“It's just engulfed in flames and smoke everywhere,” added Hunter.

Meantime, Thor was busy.

"He had my infant, my 3-month-old little girl, bassinet and all, grabbed by the ruffles and drug to the front door, ready to go. He's a hero, he saved our lives,” said Hunter.
Frank Connolly, assistant executive director with Elkhart County’s Red Cross, agrees.

"It's a remarkable story,” said Connolly.

Connolly has helped countless people and families through tragedies.

"To meet someone who can say our dog saved our life, he pulled our baby out of the bedroom to the front door to save our life, it's pretty remarkable, it tops the list,” Connolly said.

Thanks to the Red Cross, the family has a hotel room for a few days – their second move in just over a week.

"Moved in a week ago and lost everything we own,” said Hunter.

After the family moved into their trailer a week ago, everything now seems to be lost. But perspective is looking at each family member – including Thor -- and knowing what's still here.

"Thank God for him, because if it wasn't for him, everything else is replaceable, but if it wasn't for him I think we'd still be laying in that bed if my dog hadn't been as heroic as he was,” Hunter said.

The family didn’t have renter’s insurance. The Red Cross of Elkhart County has set up a fund to help them. Please call the Red Cross at 574-293-6519 if you’d like to help.

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