Posted 2 months ago ago
Prada the poodle with firefighters outside her home. (Image: Nestor Gonzalez/Matthew Newby/SWNS)
By Fiona Jackson
Prada the pooch was home alone when the family’s microwave caught fire, sparking a huge blaze in the kitchen.
But instead of running to hide she repeatedly barked and jumped at the motion-activated Ring security cameras, sending alerts to her owners’ phones.
Nestor Gonzalez and Americo Ledezma, both 27, ignored the first few but soon paid attention to Prada's pleas and swivelled the camera until they saw smoke.
Firefighters arrived just in time to save Prada – whose white fur had turned grey and who had to be given oxygen – and save some of the house.
While the flames tore through the kitchen, living room and master bedroom, firefighters said it would have been much worse had Prada not saved the day.
Nestor, from Orange County, Florida, USA, said: "When I saw the camera it was all smoke inside. My first thought was that Prada had chewed on the camera or disconnected the camera.
Prada is a hero to her owners. (Image: Nestor Gonzalez/Matthew Newby/SWNS)
"Then I started turning the camera around and couldn't see anything. Then I went blind, I started shaking, I called Americo and I said 'our house is on fire, hurry up!'
"Oh my God, that moment was terrible. Prada was alerting us for real. She is an amazing dog. We're even more attached to each other now. She's my hero. It would have taken more time for the neighbours to call the fire department and call us without her alerting us first."
Banker Americo and dental assistant Nestor got Prada during lockdown, so when they went back to work she suffered separation anxiety.
They got the Ring security system so they could check in on her, and soothe her by talking to her via the app.
Nestor and Senior Relationship Banker Americo ignored the first notification that came in. She was barking at the stove top, and they thought she had just been spooked by a sound.
Nestor said: "On our side everything looked fine. I called Americo right away, I said hey there's something going on, then she was acting very, very strange and weird.
"He was able to talk through the microphone to her then she calmed down a little bit."
But when they got a second one about 30 minutes later, Nestor checked the camera and saw the kitchen was filling up with thick smoke. He rang Americo and both rushed home.
Americo said: "I was driving, crying, shaking, trying to get to the house as soon as possible."
Firefighters arrived and found Prada, nearly unconscious, hidden in the only room with an open window.
They said if Prada hadn't alerted them when she did, the fire would have been a lot worse.
The fire caused significant damage to the kitchen. (Image: Nestor Gonzalez/Matthew Newby/SWNS)
Americo said: "When I got there and saw her I hugged her and start crying, and since I ran I felt I couldn't breathe."
The blaze started at the electrical outlet of the microwave in the kitchen, the couple claim, and then spread into the living room and master bedroom.
It took firefighters nearly an hour to put out the flames, but it was too late to save the contents of the home.
The couple bought the home in August 2019 and spent over $35,000 on renovations, that they were still paying off at the time of the fire.
Repairing the home could take up to six months and cost at least $120,000 – much of which will not be covered by their insurance, they said.
Americo said: "It's heart-breaking. The temperature was so high inside that the nails on the dry walls were melting so you could see the black spots with the nails.
"It was emotional to see all the plates and cabinets on the floor, all the broken glass, all the smoke and some of the cabinets were kind of black because they caught on fire."
But the family are just glad that everyone was safe and want to show the benefit of having a home security system installed.
You can donate to their fundraiser here: www.gofundme.com/f/hero-dog-prada-saves-herself-with-ring