Home » News » Public Safety
Dog that alerted family dies in fire
HILLSBOROUGH — When Paul Sousa Jr., woke on Thursday morning, his beagle Dupa was on him, biting his hand and barking. At first he didn't know what the 5-year-old dog wanted, but then he quickly realized his house was on fire.
“I ran and woke up my dad,” said Sousa, standing amid the burned wreckage on Merrill Road. “The whole front of the house was on fire, so we went out the back.”
Sousa and his father, Paul Sousa Sr., were able to escape the flames that engulfed the home and spread to a nearby camper, igniting brush around the house.
But four of their five dogs — including Dupa — didn't survive.
“Dupa didn't make it out,” said Sousa, who has lived in town for 20 years and attended Hillsboro-Deering High School. “He was my best friend for years, and he's the one who saved my life. He was definitely a great dog.”
Firefighters battled the blaze, which started around 5 am, tackling first the building, and then going after the brush fire, said Sousa.
In the end, there was nothing left but twisted and charred metal, a little dog named Tippy who managed to get out, and a statue of the Virgin Mary standing unscathed in the rubble.
“There was nothing we could do,” said the elder Sousa. “We were standing outside in our underwear watching our house burn. It was a hell of a way to wake up.”
Everything the two men had, including their wallets, cell phones and clothing, was inside.
“Anything that had to do with anything is gone,” the younger Sousa said.
Before the firefighters had even doused the flames, Sousa Sr. said the American Red Cross reached him and gave him funds to buy some clothes.
Both men have places to stay, and once the insurance money comes through, Sousa Sr. said he plans to rebuild.
“We'll clean up and rebuild,” he said. “Life goes on. We just have to get through the hard stuff.”
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Derry teen credited with saving home from kitchen fire - 1
- Nashua YMCA lifeguard: ‘My training just kicked in and instincts took over’ - 0
- Milford police officers want to meet you for coffee - 1
- Nashua parents: Clean up the sidewalks for students' safety - 0
- Manchester police car in collision at Union and Hayward streets - 0
- Northwood fire prompts firefighters to urge residents to clean chimneys - 0
- Rochester pedestrian, 18, struck, suffers minor injuries - 0
- Haverhill man receives call every homeowner dreads - 0
- Three firefighters recovering after injuries in fast-moving Claremont house fire - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Little Green has quartet of contenders for New England wrestling championships - 0
- Roger Brown's High School Basketball: Madness has arrived - 0
- Monarchs: Let's play three - 0
- Another View -- Diana Lacey: Union Leader editorial got gas tax hearing all wrong - 0
- Obamacare's new trick: Only temporary relief - 0
- Banning cell phones: Impulse shopping in the House - 0
- Cannon Mountain skiers head to Paralympics - 0
- John Stossel: Budget baloney - 0
- Another View - Betsy McCaughey: The Obamacare horror stories are not lies - 0
Fremont's Miss 1964 to pass on her crown
John Stossel: Budget baloney
Bad Joe: Levasseur stalls again
House says no to bill to reduce NH meals tax
Good Joe: Kenney for Executive Council