A COUNTY Clare man was lucky to escape from a house fire int he early hours of the morning after his pet dog saved his life.
Bernard Hanrahan, a former County Councillor from Clarecastle, lost his home in a devastating house fire last week, but is still counting his blessings.
Speaking to The Clare Echo, Mr Hanrahan revealed that he could easily have lost his life in the fire that claimed his home but for his pet dog waking him up when the blaze began.
Just after 5am on the last Sunday of 2020, Mr Hanrahan was awoken by his beloved bichon frise, Daisy, barking incessantly,
"Usually she’d start at around 7 or 8 to get up and do her business," he told the outlet, "but I said to her it was too early and to go back to bed."
"Next thing I heard a bang and thought someone was trying to break in."
The Clare man described how he got out of bed and went to investigate, but upon opening the kitchen door "the flames and smoke put me back on my arse onto the ground".
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Daisy and her owner managed to escape the house and go to his brother's house, where they called the Fire Brigade .
Despite the best efforts of the fire services however, the blaze enveloped the house where three generations of Mr Hanrahan's family had lived, destroying the building, possessions and memories within.
Describing the situation as a "nightmare", Mr Hanrahan said "it's the last thing that I wanted at this stage of my life, to have a major fire like this to burn out my home", adding "everything I have is gone".
Mr Hanrahan's wife, Margaret, sadly passed away six years ago, and since then Daisy has slept in the bed beside him.
"Only for Daisy I wouldn’t be around today to tell the story. She saved my life," he told The Clare Echo, adding "as someone said to me yesterday, she should be knighted."
He went on to reveal that this is the second time Daisy saved his life: two years ago when he was ill, he fell and hit his head and she stayed by his side, "barking and licking me until she woke me".
"She is a life-saver."