MARTINS FERRY, Ohio (WTRF)

An elderly couple on Elm Street in Martins Ferry say they owe their lives to their little dog, who woke them when their house was on fire in the middle of the night.

Daisy, a Yorkie, is a service dog who alerts Bob Rodgers when his wife, Donna, is about to have a medical episode.

On Monday night, it was the house fire that Daisy alerted them to.

They say the dog was insistent, jumping all over the bed and barking.

Bob Rodgers says he went downstairs to look around, but at that point, because the fire was confined to the attic, he smelled smoke but didn’t realize it was his own house that was on fire.

“I thought a house was on fire down the street someplace,” said Rodgers. “Then I heard something banging. So I called the Martins Ferry Police. And the police officers came. And they said hurry, get out of the house. The whole roof’s on fire. So we got out of the house just in time. And the two police officers took my wife down the steps because she can hardly walk. And they got her into my truck, in the back seat. Daisy saved our lives.”

“They rent here,” said their son, Rick Rodgers, referring to the Elm Street house. “They had no renters’ insurance. So anything that anybody could do would help them. They’ve been together over 50 years and you can’t replace memories. But I would just like to do something kind, anything we could do for my parents.”

There is a go fund me account on Rick Rodgers’ Facebook page.

The couple had just returned from visiting family in California, and had not yet celebrated Christmas with their grandchildren.

All the presents were still unopened.

Martins Ferry Fire Department got backup from departments from Bridgeport, Tiltonsville and Colerain.

Fire Chief Tom Kelly says they rotated fresh firefighters in all night, and kept the blaze contained to that house.

In his words, “They all did a heck of a job.”