Family’s lucky escape after hungry hound started blaze in Hartlepool kitchen

Tia the Dogue De Bordeaux is in the dog house after accidentally turning on the cooker while trying to pinch pies off the top.
Tia the Dogue De Bordeaux is in the dog house after accidentally turning on the cooker while trying to pinch pies off the top.

A FAMILY had a lucky escapeafter their peckish pet dog turned on the oven while trying to reach two freshly-baked pies.

Tia, the seven-year-old Dogue de Bordeaux, sparked an emergency situation when her love of food got the better of her.

The ginger-coloured dog could smell two corned beef pies, which had been baked by her owner Adam Spurr and placed on the back of the hob, and she tried to get at them by jumping up at the oven.

But her efforts saw her accidentally push one of the hob switches with her paw, and ignite one of the rings.

The first her owners knew of her antics were when they smelled smoke drifting up the stairs and into their bedroom as they slept at around 2.30am yesterday.

Adam’s partner Emma Llewellyn, 25, smelled the fumes and woke him up.

They both realised that something was on fire so while Emma raced to get their children – Kai Spurr, seven, and three-year-old Theo Spurr – out of their beds, Adam, 31, went downstairs to investigate.

He opened the kitchen door of their home in Lamont Grove, Owton Manor, Hartlepool – where their two dogs Tia and pup Lola are kept – and was met with plumes of thick smoke which were coming from the pies on the oven.

He managed to fight his way through the wall of smoke and remove the smouldering pies, and the animals, from the kitchen.

The family called 999 and within minutes fire brigade and ambulance crews arrived, with paramedics checking over Adam, who had inhaled a lot of smoke.

Today Adam said: “I think we’ve been very lucky. We were really shocked when it dawned on us what was happening, I’m just so glad that we’re all alright because it could have been a different story.

“I’m really suprised Tia is still alive because the smoke in the kitchen was unbelievable, you basically couldn’t see in front of you at all.

“Lola is in a cage covered in a blanket on a night so I can understand how she survived, but I can’t believe Tia did.

“You never think anything like that is going to happen to you.”

He added: “Tia jumps up at the workbenches all the time, that’s why the pies were at the back covered in tea towels, but she’s obviously still had a go at reaching them.”

Emma said: “With our cooker, all you have to do is press the knob and turn it, and it comes on. She’s put her paw on it and turned it and has ignited it.

“I thought I was dreaming when I first smelled the smoke.”

The firefighters checked the house over and replaced a smoke alarm which had stopped working just two weeks before.

Adam and Emma now say they will remove the knobs from the cooker when it is not in use.

Despite the panic, Adam can look at the humorous side of the drama now and said: “I was gutted about my pies. If we hadn’t have had the dog since she was a puppy we wouldn’t be keeping her.”