Dog who warned man of house fire died

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 22, 2010

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

In Antioch’s David De Veny’s opinion, that applies to dogs as well.

Jak and the family’s other dog, Terry, warned a sleeping De Veny there was a fire in his Southwind Road home Friday night.

“That Friday night, I kept hearing popping sounds,” he said. “But I just thought someone was shooting a rifle.”

De Veny said he decided to take a nap on the couch, when the dogs “started jumping on me about 9:15 p.m.”

“That’s when I woke up and saw the living room was smoky, and I saw the blaze,” he said. “I went across the end of the yard to my in-laws’ where my wife was,” he said. “The dogs came with me, but then they went back into the house.”

Neither Jak nor Terry made it out alive, he said. The two died from smoke inhalation.

“If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here,” he said. “I like to think of the Bible verse, ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ In my book that applies to dogs, too.”

De Veny said the Antioch community has been a blessing to his family.

“The outpouring is a lot more than you’d expect,” he said. “You don’t expect it until something like this happens.”

De Veny said right now he and his wife have everything they need. They are continuing to stay with her parents, James and Mary Hurst, while the investigation and insurance process takes its course.

The family is currently waiting on the state fire marshal to determine what caused the fire.

“We have people who want to give us beds and couches,” he said. “We certainly appreciate the community’s support.”

De Veny said he would also like to commend the Antioch and Babbie fire departments for their timely response.

“The whole area could have burned, there are a lot of trees behind us,” he said. “It could have been a lot worse.”