Pinecrest family thanks rescue dog for saving their lives

Family says Candi awakened them to smoky kitchen Monday night

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor

PINECREST, Fla. - A South Florida family said they owe their lives to their new dog, Candi, after the puppy awakened the family Monday night as smoke came from their refrigerator.

The family said they rescued the 1-year-old terrier mix on Saturday, just two days before the incident.

"She rescued us. She saved our lives," Silvia Reyes said. "I promise you, I mean, we were sleeping. We wouldn't have known otherwise."

Reyes and her 13-year-old son, Marcus, were asleep inside their Pinecrest townhouse when they were awakened by Candi who was sleeping in the living room.

"We heard a lot of barking and howling," Reyes said. "To my surprise, at 1 in the morning, I came down and our kitchen was engulfed in smoke."

Silvia said she panicked, woke up her husband and then called 911.

"The compressor (in the refrigerator) was making some kind of bad connection," she said.

The family escaped without any injuries, but Candi wasn't as lucky.

"Candi started throwing up and breathing really hard," Reyes said.

The family rushed the dog to an animal hospital, and an X-ray revealed that she had a collapsed lung.

Now Candi's on several medications and using a breathing machine. Veterinarians said smoke inhalation caused her lung to collapse.

Candi is expected to make a full recovery.

"She's part of our family," Reyes said. "It was meant to be."

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