Pet parrot saves family from fire

Pearly's loud squawks awaken family

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A couple credits their 3-year-old parrot with alerting them of a fire that broke out in their laundry room overnight Tuesday.

About 3:45 a.m. Tuesday, Fort Lauderdale firefighters responded to a fire at 1336 SW 18th Ave.

LauraJean Niesel and her fiancé, Dave, were awoken by the squawks of Pearly, their Indian Ring Neck Parrot.

"I heard him squawking like this and flapping his wings," said Niesel.

Pearly's squawking and flapping began before the smoke detector sounded.

"Birds are very sensitive to smoke, so I opened the back door and called 911," said Niesel.

"It sounded like it was in crisis," said Dave. "The fire progressed so rapidly, the fire department said the fire doubles in size every 30 to 60 seconds."

Firefighters contained the blaze to the laundry room.

"My children never liked the bird and Dave doesn't like the bird either, so now maybe the bird will be in a better light," said Niesel.

It's unclear what caused the fire.