PROSPERITY, SC (WISTV) - Two Prosperity men made it out of their burning home just in time minutes before it exploded, and an unlikely hero came to their aid.
"It was just blazing. Curtains and everything was gone," said Hugh Auton.
At 3 a.m. on Monday, Hugh's front yard was covered in flames and fire trucks. A garden hose was no match for the blaze.
"It was just too much smoke, I just dropped it, and we all ran out the back door," said Hugh.
Hugh and his cousin, Mike, got out just before the flames caught up to Mike's oxygen tanks for his COPD.
"When it went off, it blew out this whole end of the home, blew it out and that's what really caused it to burn," said Hugh.
The smoke alarms sounded.
"I did not hear them, I guess I was sleeping pretty sound and I did not hear, that's my smoke, blue's my smoke alarm," Hugh said.
Who's Blue? A 3-year-old, five pound Chihuahua who save not one life, but two.
"This is the hero of the family right here," said Hugh of the hero dog.
"If it weren't for him, you'd be talking to somebody else, because I would be dead, probably," said Hugh.
Blue smelled the smoke first.
"He was running around barking, whining and all the way around the bed. And I woke up and said, 'What's wrong, Blue?' and he jumped off the bed and ran to the bedroom door," said Hugh.
Blue may be a small dog, but he's got a big bark and maybe a little Dalmatian in him.
"He got a mouth on him, and he sure lets me know it," said Hugh. "He let me know there was something wrong in that house and that I had to get up."
Blue's reward's already in the works.
"I'm going to give him a steak just as soon as everything is settled. I'm going to grill him a steak and going to grill me one and we're going to have supper," said Hugh.
In the end, everything is replaceable, but what's important are Hugh and Mike's lives. Hugh plans to stay on his property with Blue of course. He wants to clean it up, but it may take awhile.