One family have paid tribute to their pet dog after he saved their lives during an arson attack.
Paul Licence and Sue Walker were in bed, fast asleep, with their grandkids also in the house, when they were woken by Simba’s barking.
Paul got out of bed to try and calm Simba down, and saw the caravan outside the house ablaze.
He then woke his family up, and they managed to get out the house, in Derby, later realising Simba was trying to alert them to danger.
Sue, 59, said:
Simba was amazing – he’s our hero. He was barking and banging his paws on the sofa and getting really agitated, which is unusual for him as he’s not really a barky dog.
At first Paul was trying to calm him down as he didn’t understand why he was making such a fuss. Then we opened the curtains and we just saw all the flames.
If it wasn’t for Simba we’d be dead.
It was terrifying when I first saw it, never in a million years did I think something like this would happen to us.
I tried to put it out with the hosepipe at first, I panicked. It was so close to the house and I wasn’t really thinking straight. We are just totally gutted by the whole thing.
Sadly for the family, their caravan was destroyed, but their house remained standing, despite some damage to the outer walls.
The fire is being treated as an arson attack by police.
Sue claimed that Simba saved both their family and the one next door by barking and waking them up, and allowing them to call the emergency services in time.