Dogs alert family to house fire in Murfreesboro; Pet cat dies

(Courtesy: Murfreesboro Fire and Rescue)

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Murfreesboro family escaped a burning home and is alive thanks in part to her dogs.

The dogs, three pit bulls and a boxer, tugged and bite the woman until she woke up.

The family lost everything, including their pet cat.

It all happened around 4 a.m. Thursday at a home on Sunset Avenue.

Alisa Bullard, her disabled mother Lenora, and a friend were all sound asleep.

(Courtesy: Murfreesboro Fire and Rescue)
(Courtesy: Murfreesboro Fire and Rescue)

“The next thing I know, the dogs broke out the cages and wherever they were and were biting on me and pulling on me and one’s licking me to death,” Bullard said.

Bullard said she quickly got up to see what was wrong.

“I couldn’t see my friend no more standing beside me there was so much smoke,” Bullard said.

Bullard ran towards her 74-year-old mother’s room, yelling and screaming for her to wake up.

“So when I look past her room to my room, I saw flames going up the wall,” Bullard recalled.

Her mother is a disabled hospice patient and can’t walk.

She and her friend put the elderly woman in a wheelchair and was able to get her outside safely.

“He’s pushing her and I’m pushing him because now I touched my door knob and burn my hand so I know it’s really hot,” she said.

(Photo: WKRN)
(Photo: WKRN)

Bullard ran back inside to get one of the dogs and tried to put out the fire with water from the dog bowl, which proved unsuccessful.

“A good three to five minutes the whole house is gone,” Bullard said.

Making the situation even more dangerous, several of her mother’s oxygen tanks were inside.

“All I’m thinking is this house is about to blow up,” she said.

Bullard told News 2 she is thankful her dogs woke her up.

“If it wasn’t for my dogs we would be dead,” Bullard said. “We would be dead.”

She said often times pit bills get a bad rap, but she says hers are a lifesaver.

“My God to look at that house now, if it wasn’t for those dogs, I don’t mind the little nix they did, they saved our lives because we were asleep, “ Bullard said.

The family lost everything and there was no rental insurance. Bullard told News 2, there were no smoke detectors in the home.

Bullard’s mother’s vintage and handmade doll collection also burned in the fire, many of which valuable.

(Photo: WKRN)
(Photo: WKRN)

“She has dolls half the size of me in height that she had since she was a little girl,” Bullard said.

Murfreesboro Fire and Rescue officials said the fire started in a back room of the Sunset Avenue home.

An SUV was also damaged from the intense heat.

Fire officials said the fire started in the back of the home. A cause hasn’t been determined, but as of now, it appears to be accidental.

An SUV was also damaged from the intense heat.

The fire victims had more $2,000 in the home to pay rent and utilities.

MFRD says the American Red Cross is assisting the family and they are currently staying in a local hotel.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family recover from the fire. Click here if you would like to help.