A Fort Walton Beach woman says she's alive because of her dog.
The 10-year-old dachshund, who had beed rescued from a shelter himeslf, returned the favor Saturday morning.
That's when Jacques Simone heard the frantic wake-up bark that saved her life. She was asleep when her house caught fire, but was able to get herself, and Turk, out of the house.
"He started to bark, which he doesn't do very often, and then I looked and the flames were over my head," said Simone. "So it was time to go."
Simone was sound asleep when the fire started around 4:30 Saturday morning. Turk was the first to notice.
"This is a prime example of the love he had for me," she said. "He would not stop messing with me until I got out, and I just praised God for that."
The house on Hurlburt Road has been declared a total loss, but Simone knows things could have been a whole lot worse.
Ocean City-Wright firefighters who responded to the scene said they consider Simone to be very lucky, especially because her home was not equipped with a working smoke detector.
"If you're asleep and you're overcome by smoke, you'll never know it," said fire district spokesman Ryan Christen. "In this case, had the dog not been in there to waken her, she probably wouldn't have made it out."
Thanks to Turk, Simone did, and now she's rewarding her hero.
"He got a big steak yesterday, which he enjoyed. And he will always be my friend," she said. "Dog is man's best friend, and I truly believe that."
Simone lost nearly everything in the fire, but said she's just happy to be alive. Investigators are still trying to find out what caused the blaze but suspect it was an electrical failure.