Oct. 01--Jan Oliver Alms rescued Phantom, his Border Collie, from the Burke County Friends for Animals when he adopted him.
At 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28, Phantom returned the favor by rescuing his owner. "I had put a candle in the bathtub...It was within its own little safe structure."
Alms, who lives at 116 Colony Drive in Morganton, spoke with his ex-girlfriend about an hour on the phone.
"I just took a nap and forgot about the candle," he said. "The dog was waking me up. Five fire alarms went off."
Black smoke was billowing out of the bathroom, said Alms, who kicked in the bathroom door. "The entire shower stall was in flames," Alms said. "There was enough heat to kill Satan."
Alms eventually managed to put out the fire and called 9-1-1. He then went to lay on the deck after calling for emergency workers.
"That dog knew something wasn't right about my habits," Alms said. "He has that nature to him. I swear, he knows every word I'm saying. He saved me. I saved him. You know what the biggest fear of an amputee is-- fire. I no longer fear it."
Alms feels that after saving his dog from an unknown fate, Phantom has returned the favor.
"So I saved him from Burke County Friends for Animals. I guess he's paying me back."
Phantom, a rather friendly dog, was a big hit with firefighters and emergency workers, Alms said.
Copyright 2013 - The News Herald, Morganton, N.C.