California

'Hero pup' pit bull tries to save baby from house fire by carrying her by the diaper

Sasha, an 8-month-old pit bull puppy, alerted her owner to a fire next door in her Stockton, Calif., fourplex when she tried to carry 7-month-old Masailah out of the home by her diaper.
Sasha, an 8-month-old pit bull puppy, alerted her owner to a fire next door in her Stockton, Calif., fourplex when she tried to carry 7-month-old Masailah out of the home by her diaper. Twitter screenshot

A mother in Stockton, California, says her 8-month-old pit bull is a "hero pup" for saving her and her baby's lives last week when a fire broke out in another unit of her fourplex.

Sasha the puppy and 7-month-old Masailah have a special bond, their mom, Nana Chai, told KCRA.

"She's in her bed every day," Chai told the station. "They take baths together and everything."

So it's no wonder that Sasha went straight for Masailah as soon as she felt heat coming through their door just before midnight on Sunday.

The pit bull alerted her owner that something was wrong first by barking and yelping, before any of Nana's human senses detected that anything was wrong.

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Sasha the "hero pup" sits with Masailah in one of the last photos Nana Chai, Masailah's mother took of the inseparable pair before a fire last week made their fourplex home unlivable. Nana Chai Courtesy

It was one of the few times Nana had left Shasha outside in the backyard for longer than just a few minutes, she told KTXL. The dog was going berserk, yelping and pounding at the back door.

"I open it and she runs in and starts barking at me like crazy, and I was like, 'OK, this is weird. This is not like her,'" Nana told the station.

As she got closer to the door, she saw a glow coming from next door, her cousin's unit in the fourplex. Sasha was already on her way to get her best friend.

Nana, 30, rushed to her Masailah's room, but Sasha had beaten her there. The dog was trying to carry her out of bed and to safety — by Masailah's diaper.

"She has my baby by the diaper just dragging her off the bed — trying to get her to safety."

They got out of their home unharmed, but all of Nana's unit in the fourplex is now unlivable, according to a GoFundMe campaign started by Nana's sister Christine White. The money will go to "help not only my family but also Sasha our hero pup start a new life in a new home."

Nana told McClatchy on Saturday that Sasha is staying with her aunt until Nana finds a new home for the family, and she misses all four of her humans — Nana, Masailah and her two older sisters.

"She misses the kids and sleeping in their beds. I take the kids over there so Sasha doesn't cry all day," Nana said. "It's hard to answer the questions, 'Where are we going to live?' and 'Are we going to be homeless?' when I'm trying to figure that out as well, so right now we're leaning on each other."

The Musselwhite family of south Bibb County credits their dog Gunner with alerting them to an overnight house fire on July 14, 2016.

Luca was trained for search and rescue as a pup and used those skills to help save a man from drowning last year. Photos courtesy FWPD Officer Cole Brock.

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