Boston residents alerted to shed fire by dog

GOOD GIRL: Sue Olsen with Lilly, whose barking alerted her to the fire burning inside the shed next door to the house. Photo: Jarrad Delaney
GOOD GIRL: Sue Olsen with Lilly, whose barking alerted her to the fire burning inside the shed next door to the house. Photo: Jarrad Delaney

Two Boston residents were able to act on a fire burning in the shed next to their house thanks to their dog's constant barking alerting them to the blaze.

Sue and Ted Olsen live at their Richardson Road property with their four-year-old rough-coated jack russell terrier Lilly, who the couple have owned since she was a puppy.

Mrs Olsen said while Lilly would bark at visitors, she would only bark non-stop when she saw anything unusual outside.

She said she and Mr Olsen last Wednesday had returned home at about 3.30pm, with Mr Olsen going for a lay down while she went to the office to read the newspaper.

"I heard a bang, and I thought my daughter was out in the shed and had dropped something," she said.

"(Lilly) sat up and the bang went, she came out in the kitchen and then barked, and barked and barked.

"I eventually came out several minutes later to see why she didn't stop barking and I saw the thick smoke coming out of the shed."

After being alerted to the fire Mrs Olsen woke up her husband and rang 000, with MFS and CFS firefighters eventually arriving on the scene.

Firefighters managed to keep the fire contained to the shed, which was destroyed along with all contents including a car with damaged estimated at more than $110,000.

Mrs Olsen said there was no telling what could had happened had they not been alerted to the fire thanks to Lilly's barking, as the fire could have travelled past the shed and through the patio to the house.

She said they were thankful for the work from the CFS and MFS firefighters.

"We so value their expertise and skills," she said.

Mrs Olsen said the efforts of neighbours, who also reported the fire and checked to see if they were okay, showed the strength of the community they lived in as well.

Lilly's actions were certainly rewarded with plenty of treats.

Mrs Olsen said they would definitely listen closely for Lilly's barking in the future.