A loyal pet saved its owner's life by licking her face to warn her the bed was on fire. Clever Barbie, a Jack Russell, woke 72-year-old Rosemary Field, a registered blind diabetic, early in the morning by climbing on her bed and licking her face. As it was only 5.45am Mrs Field told the dog to go back to sleep. But when Barbie kept licking she opened her eyes to find her bed on fire. A lamp had fallen onto the bed and set fire to her bedding and the carpet.
The great grandmother, from Kingswood, Bristol, threw a pint glass of water on the fire and went to the bathroom to get more. However due to her already bad eyesight and the smoke coming from the fire she was unable to see. She rang the fire service and tried to take Barbie, her other dog Babe, as well as her Siamese cat Tasha and her budgie Joey to safety. The widow managed to get out of the house with all of her pets except Siamese Tasha, who refused to leave the comfort of the living room.
Two fire engines attended the fire at Mrs Field's home and found it was already extinguished. A firefighter told Mrs Field that she was lucky and said that if Barbie, who is seven, had not alerted her to the fire they may well have been dealing with a fatality. She said: "I can't do enough for little Barbie now – I've been giving her lots of treats since it happened. She usually sleeps on my bed but when she started licking my face so early in the morning I was quite annoyed.
"It wasn't until I woke up more that I saw the bottom of my bed was on fire. I tried to put it out but there was a lot of smoke. My main worry was to get all my animals out but the cat wouldn't come. Luckily the fire was out by the time the firefighters got here and everyone was OK. They told me it was very lucky that Barbie had woken me up, or I might have slept through it and died. They said I shouldn't use the lamp anymore – I put it outside by my front door but someone has stolen it. I would like to warn them not to use it."
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