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By BOB WHITE
RADCLIFF — A single mother of two toddler-age boys escaped a Radcliff mobile home as fire ripped through it early Wednesday morning, thanks to a black Labrador named Daisy who alerted the sleeping family to the danger.
“She tried to wake me by barking, but when that didn’t work, she bit me,” said Kathryn Ramirez, who lived in the Graham Street home in Rogersville Mobile Home Park.
Ramirez, who was asleep on a couch, awoke around 4 a.m. to fire blazing from the kitchen at the opposite end of the trailer from the children’s room.
“I ran through the smoke bumping into things, grabbed ’em up and ran out the door,” she said.
Firefighters could do nothing to save the home.
Radcliff Fire Chief Rick Ledford said the fire started with a hot plate left on top of a press-board cabinet the night before. He said radiant heat from the hot plate ignited the cabinet above which was made from particle board — common to older house trailers like the one where the Ramirez family lived.
“This is a good reminder to check those smoke detectors,” Ledford said. “This home had no working detectors in it. She’s lucky she had the dog.”
While Ramirez and her children lost everything to the blaze, she said she’s grateful to walk away with the lives of her boys, 2-year-old Matteo and 3-year-old Nathaniel, and Daisy, the 7-year-old life-saving Labrador.
“The only things we did make it out with were my dad’s Bible and my Bible, some documents and two blankets,” she said. “But it’s this kind of experience that makes you appreciate what you do have.”
The Hardin County Chapter of the American Red Cross is assisting Ramirez and her boys. Donations to help the family can be brought to its office at 405 W. Dixie Ave. in Elizabethtown.
Ramirez said the home she owned was uninsured and that anyone able to contribute household items and clothing may drop items off at her mother’s address at 106 Pearl St., also in Rogersville Mobile Home Park off Wilson Road.
Family members said a relief fund for Ramirez would be established at Chase Bank.
Bob White can be reached at (270) 505-1750.