Good boy, Jake! Selkirk dog’s persistent bark saves family from house fire

A Selkirk, Man., man says his dog’s persistent barking earlier this week alerted him that his neighbour’s house was on fire and enabled him to go rescue them.

Mel Plishka let his 11-year-old dog Jake out into the yard on Friday and then went to lie down on the couch. He woke with a start around 4:30 a.m. when he heard some strange, high-pitched noises.

“He was barking kind of loud and irregular and I was like, what the heck? It was almost like it was urgent,” Plishka said in an interview on CBC Manitoba’s Weekend Morning Show on Sunday.

“He was just standing at the fence, and I thought maybe someone was breaking into the cars and then when I ran over to take a look, I saw my neighbour’s house on fire.”

Plishka says he was in shock at first, but then noticed all his neighbours vehicles were there and realized everyone was home and probably asleep.

Mel Plishka says his dog Jake alerted him early on Friday morning that there was a fire next door. (Submitted by Mel Plishka)

“I was like, oh jeez. I got to get the hell over there,” he said.

He rushed over to the front door and banged as loud as he could to wake everyone up and make sure they all got outside.

His neighbours were shocked but all managed to evacuate safely.

Jake is getting extra treats in recognition of his heroism. (Submitted by Mel Plishka)

Plishka’s son then began using a garden hose to douse the fire until firefighters arrived. Luckily, only one wall and part of the roof was damaged, he says.

Now, Jake is being treated like the hero he is.

Plishka says his neighbours came by to give the elderly dog some treats and he’s also given him his favourite snack.

“I usually just give him one, but I gave him two so he’s nice and happy.”

Selkirk is about 34 km northeast of Winnipeg.

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