September 19, 2019
Portland Latest News | Larry Lord | Bangor Metro | 'Mount' Katahdin | Today's Paper

Hero dog credited with saving family from fire ‘will be insanely missed’

Courtesy of Chelsye Mason
Courtesy of Chelsye Mason
Hemi, a pit bull and labrador mix, sits on the lap of owner Chelsye Mason in this undated photo. Hemi's barking alerted Mason and her fiancee that their home was on fire early Tuesday morning, saving the family, but the dog perished in the flames. The family considered him a hero.

The Naples woman whose dog died Tuesday saving her family says her pet was a hero and “will be insanely missed.”

Chelsye Mason and her fiance, Vernon Brower, awoke Tuesday morning to the bark of Hemi, their pit bull and labrador mix, alerting them to the flames that were devouring their Naples trailer.

Brower went to wake his brother, Gary, while Mason grabbed her young daughter and headed to the back door, calling for her dog to follow, Mason told the BDN.

But Hemi chose a different path and died in the flames, she said.

The blaze left Brower with burns on more than 40 percent of his body and also claimed the lives of two cats and a hamster, according to Mason.

“We believe [Hemi] tried to follow Vern when he went down to the other end of the house through the flames to wake Gary up,” Mason wrote on Facebook. “Hemi is my hero and will be insanely missed.”

[Hero dog dies rescuing family in house fire]

Mason left the trailer’s back door open to give Hemi an escape route. It wasn’t until everyone got out of the home alive that the family realized their dog was missing.

Brower was taken to Bridgton Hospital with burns to his back, shoulders and head and was later flown by LifeFlight to Maine Medical Center in Portland, where he is in the intensive care unit.

“He’s blaming himself about Hemi, saying he should have saved him,” Mason said.

Brower was sedated by hospital staff in order to allow his body to heal and he was initially placed on a ventilator, which has since been removed, she said.

“They’re talking about skin grafts,” Mason said. “He’s going to be in Maine Med for awhile.”

The fire started around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday on Pleasant View Drive and completely destroyed the mobile home. A member of the state fire marshal’s office reported later in the day that fire began in the living room.

 



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