Speed Reads

It wasn't all bad

Dog named Chewbarka rescues family from fire that destroyed their home

A chihuahua-dachshund mix named Sir LaRue Winnieschnitzle — aka Chewbarka — saved several lives when he alerted his family to a fire about to engulf their Florida home.

Early one recent Tuesday, James and Theresa Parsons woke up to Chewbarka, 3, barking his head off. He wouldn't stop, so Theresa Parsons got up to see what was making him so upset; once at the back of the house, she saw the porch was on fire. "It was a wall of flames," James Parsons told the Tallahassee Democrat. The Parsons ran to the front door and escaped. Firefighters estimated that the house sustained $85,000 worth of damage, and while the family was safe, they lost nearly everything, including heirlooms.

The fire took place on Theresa Parsons' birthday, and despite the devastation, the family is looking at the bright side — neighbors have rallied to give their teenage son with autism a new Nintendo 3DS to replace the one burned in the fire, James Parsons was able to sift through the ashes and find his wife's wedding band and engagement ring, and, of course, their dog Chewbarka is a hero. "Everything happens for a reason but we don't know what the outcomes are going to be," Theresa Parsons told the Tallahassee Democrat. "But we stand firm in our faith."