FITZGERALD, GA (WALB) –The devastation of losing everything you own in a fire is hard enough to handle, but imagine also losing two beloved pets. That's what a Ben Hill county family is dealing with tonight.
A fire destroyed everything in their newly remodeled home and took the lives of two Chihuahuas they had for nearly 20 years.
Dwight Thompson is picking up the pieces of his life, after a fire destroyed his home. "You go to bed with everything, and you wake up with nothing," he said.
He and his wife awoke to smoke and flames near their couch. "I told her grab the dogs and get outside," he said.
The fire started small but quickly grew out of hand. "My wife when she went outside with the dogs, the two Chihuahuas, they know to come inside, so they come back in through the front door,
Firefighters worked to help put out the fire, but unfortunately it was a complete loss." he said.
Everything from pictures, clothing, even a prized 16 point deer was destroyed but no possession compares to the loss of their two Chihuahuas, Rico and Sister. "I've only been out here twice, this is my third time, because its hard when you pull up," said Linda Thompson.
His three dogs were outside with his wife during the fire, but the two Chihuahuas ran back inside to place they felt secure, their bed. "They found the two Chihuahuas at the end of the bed," he said.
Firefighters say the 15 year old and 19 year old dogs died of smoke inhalation. "They were by no means burnt up, it was just like they were asleep smiling at the end of the bed," he said.
"They did live a long life, the firefighters tell me they didn't suffer, they just went to sleep," said Linda.
But it's not only hard on Thompson and his wife, it's tough on their 7-year old Pomeranian Roxy too. "I watch her, she lays awake at night, she knows we are not home and she wonders where they at too," he said.
Thompson says he and his wife will eventually rebuild their home, but their will always be a special part of their lives missing.
The Thompson's want to thank the people of Ben Hill County who helped them through this incredibly hard time.
They buried their dogs beneath a lemon tree in their yard.
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