Reporting Lauren Leamanczyk
HILLSBOROUGH, NH (CBS) – A Hillsborough, New Hampshire family lost everything in a fire, including the dog that saved their lives.
“I’m not crying for the mess. I’m crying for the dogs,” says Paul Sousa, Sr. as he looks at the charred heap that used to be his trailer home.
When fire tore through the home Thursday night, he and his son escaped with just minutes to spare thanks to their five year old beagle, Dupa.
Paul Sousa Jr. woke up, “to my dog grabbing my hand and pulling me so I would wake up.”
He saw his home was already in flames and ran to the other side of the trailer to wake his father.
Father and son got out. But four of their five dogs didn’t make it, despite Paul’s best efforts to save them.
“I got halfway down the stairs and I turned and said, got to get the dogs and turned around and went back up. Forty seconds and the flame had traveled from the middle of the house all the way to the opposite side,” he says.
Tippi is the only dog who survived. There’s not much to salvage in the wreckage. Only a statue of the Virgin Mary is still standing.
The Sousa’s are heartbroken but grateful for a dog who truly was man’s best friend.
“Don’t underrate animals, they’re not stupid. They’ve got as much loyalty to you as most humans,” Paul Sr. said. “He was there for us and I truly believe it wasn’t for him one of both of us would’ve died.”