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PSNH workers spot fire, save dog

Union Leader Correspondent

February 23. 2012 9:57PM

HUDSON - Two-year-old Cooper was trembling when they found him in the rubble of what used to be his bedroom, according to owner Dennis Daigle.

'He was scared spitless,' Daigle said of his dog.

PSNH working foreman Mike Stancombe and lineman Marc Goodspeed were in the area of the Daigle home at 48 Schaefer Circle around 5 p.m. Wednesday when a fire broke out.

'We smelled a strong, smoky odor,' Stancombe said.

They began to investigate and noticed a haze around the Daigle house, about two doors down from where they were working. They called 911.

'I thought there was an alarming amount of smoke,' Goodspeed said.

They could hear Cooper, a 2-year old Blackmouth Cur breed, scratching at the door. Finding the front door locked, Stancombe ran to the side door and looked inside.

'A dog poked its head up from the windowpane,' Stancombe said.

Cooper was not barking or crying, but was anxious to get out, Stancombe said. He didn't think the dog would survive if they waited for the firefighters to arrive.

'I kicked the door open and the dog bolted out of there,' Stancombe said. 'He was really scared.'

When the door opened all that was visible was a wall of smoke, Stancombe said. The dog bolted.

Firefighters found the fire in a second-floor bedroom and extinguished the flames in about 20 minutes, according to Steve Dube, fire prevention officer for the Hudson Fire Department. Stancombe and Goodspeed waited to inform Dennis and Donna Daigle that their dog was safe but missing.

The couple had left home about half-hour before the fire started, Dennis said.

The home will be uninhabitable for a while, Dube said. The damage is estimated at about $70,000.

Cooper returned while cleanup was under way. He found a way into the house and retreated to his old bedroom, where family members were happy to find him.

The Nashua Red Cross helped the family find a pet-friendly place to stay locally.

The fire is not considered suspicious, Dube said.

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