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Dog saves family from fire

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One-year-old Gambit woke up his owners during a house fire just in time for them to get out. (KATV)

CROSSETT, Ark. (KATV) -- A small dog is being praised for saving his owners' lives in a house fire, but it turned out that he needed saving, too.

Other than a charred nose, Gambit the one-year-old Chiweenie dog was in good health Tuesday when Channel 7 paid him a visit.

Shay Dismuke held Gambit tight in her arms as she looked at the building she called "home" for the past eight years.

But on the night of January 2nd, everything changed. Shay and her husband were woken up by Gambit's frantic barking.

"When we opened our bedroom door, the whole living room was already engulfed," Shay said.

In a daze, the couple managed to escape out of their bedroom window.

"He saved my life and my husband's life. He's our blessing," Shay said, stroking the dog's head.

But once the couple had gotten safely outside, a second wave of fear hit them: Gambit was nowhere to be seen.

"Sheriff's department got here, they called and called, and he wouldn't come out, so we just knew he was gone," Shay recalled.

But it wasn't until volunteer fire fighter Captain Jason Wilkins and his crew were going through the flaming house, when they heard tiny whimpering from below a bed.

"He was unconscious, not moving or anything. So I tried to protect him with gear," Captain Wilkins explained.

The crew carried the pup outside to safety, where other fire fighters resuscitated Gambit and gave him oxygen and CPR.

"A lot of times situations don't turn out that good, so it makes us feel good when we can all be a part of something like that," Wilkins added.

The fire fighters, feeling fulfilled as much as Gambit's family is grateful for a second chance at life.

The entire North Crossett Fire Department, made up of over 20 volunteers, who put their lives at risk every single day, "because we love it," Wilkins explained.

"They rock, they really do," Shay said, forever grateful to the fire fighters for saving her dog.

Gambit received shots from the vet after he suffered smoke inhalation. He also has cream for his nose and paws that were burned.

Electrical problems are to blame for the fire, and the Dismukes say they did have a space heater on that night. After the fire, they say they will never sleep with one again.