Terrier Tallulah raises fire alarm

HEROINE HOUND: Tallulah the border terrier alerted owner Ian Melvin after a blaze started in the back yard. Just as firefighters were called, the fire became serious.
HEROINE HOUND: Tallulah the border terrier alerted owner Ian Melvin after a blaze started in the back yard. Just as firefighters were called, the fire became serious.

BORDER terrier Tallulah turned out to be quite the heroine after alerting her owners to a back yard blaze before it got out of control.

Owners Ian Melvin and wife Yvonne had no idea that a fire had started and were watching TV in the lounge at their home on North Church Street, Fleetwood, last Thursday.

But as they relaxed a rubbish fire, believed to have been started as a prank, spread to an overhanging bush in their yard, and 10ft flames threatened to reach the house itself.

Civil servant Ian told the Weekly News: “We were watching the Sopranos on the TV at about 9.30pm.

“Our border terrier, Tallulah suddenly started barking urgently at the back door, and because I am severely deaf, she ran into the living room to alert me with a nudge.

“We opened the back door but there was no obvious problem which warranted investigation.

“However, after a few moments there was a small explosion and flames then leapt nearly 10 feet into the air from across the alleyway to our house.

“It turned out that rubbish bags left out for Thursday collection had been ignited and possibly aerosol cans were causing small explosions.

“Overhanging the wall where the rubbish was piled, there is a tree and ivy growth by our yard which threatened to be set alight by the flames leaping through its branches.”

Ian, 54, who works at the Norcross site near Thornton, added: “Tallulah is my wife’s dog and was a present for her 50th birthday.

“She is four years old now and is still full of beans.

“If she hadn’t alerted us, who knows how far it would have gone.”

At Fleetwood Fire Station, station manager Neil Taylor told the Weekly News: “We arrived quickly but by that time the aerosols had already exploded.

“It was a secondary rubbish fire which we believe was started as a prank.

“Although on this occasion it was put out fairly easily and wasn’t too serious, it could have been.

“We would ask the public to be vigilant about anyone acting suspiciously.

“We have had 19 rubbish fires of this sort in Wyre since the start of April alone, and that is a worrying statistic.

“All it takes is for a blaze to really take hold and the consequences could be far more serious.”

He added: “We would also advise people to put their rubbish out at the correct time. If refuse is left out too early, it is easier for this type of thing to happen.”