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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, May 18, 2002

Yapping dog saves sleeping man

By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer

Yesterday's fire left an 'Ewa Beach house gutted by the time it was extinguished. Its residents were safe.

Jeff Widener • The Honolulu Advertiser

A Chihuahua named Little Bit got its owner's attention in a big way yesterday.

Fire officials are crediting the dog with waking the 72-year-old 'Ewa Beach man as his house burned yesterday afternoon.

The man said he was asleep in his home at 91-954 Hanakahi St. when his dog began barking shortly after 1:30 p.m.

Capt. Richard Soo, Fire Department spokesman, said the man, identified as Donald May, jumped out of bed and quickly knew why Little Bit was upset.

"Little Bit's barking woke the guy up and he smelled smoke. When he got out of his house, he saw flames coming from the ceiling. He got out all right," Soo said.

Little Bit also made it out safely.

'Ewa Beach firefighters said they could see smoke from the fire a mile away as they left their station. By the time they got to the house, it was engulfed in flames, Soo said.

It took about 25 minutes to bring the fire under control, Soo said. The fire was extinguished at 4:21 p.m., but by then the house had nearly burned to the ground.

One firefighter suffered from exhaustion and was treated at a hospital. No one else was injured.

Damage was estimated at $175,000 to the single-story house and $30,000 to its contents. The cause of the fire was being investigated.

The American Red Cross was assisting the man.