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Great Dane Named Ralph Saves Alabama Family From House Fire

[Sept. 9, 2020: Ally Mauch]

A Great Dane named Ralph has been credited with saving an Alabama family.

The family pet helped evacuate Derek Walker, his wife Maria Gilbert and their two children when a fire began sweeping through their home in Shelby County, according to local news outlet

"He was in his kennel inside the house and we heard him barking,'' Walker told the outlet, sharing that Ralph began barking around 2:30 a.m. "He usually doesn’t make a sound at night. And it was a different kind of bark."

Walker woke up to the noise and discovered a fire in the home shortly after. "I just started screaming ‘fire’ to get everybody up,'' he continued. "My wife got up and she got our daughter and got her out."

Their son, however, was on the lower level and still asleep. "She said his room was full of smoke. He was still asleep,'' Walker shared, recalling what his wife said. "The fire was right outside his wall. He wasn’t awake because he sleeps covered with his blanket."

Eventually, they were able to get their son out and go back to retrieve Ralph from his kennel. The house had fire alarms, but they didn’t sound until the house filled with smoke, leading Walker to credit Ralph with saving the family.

"There was so much smoke I don’t know if we would have made it out,'' he said. "Without Ralph, I don’t think we would have made it. I don’t think my son would have made it.”

North Shelby Fire Department Battalion Chief Robert Lawson agreed that Ralph did a huge service. "We could have had injuries or fatalities,'' he said. "As an animal lover, we are very thankful for Ralph."

This Brighter Side of News post courtesy of People at


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