ELKHART LAKE, Wis., Oct. 17, 2006 (AP)
After a disabled woman's cat started a house fire, her specially trained dog came to the rescue, then died trying to help the cat still in the house. Jamie Hanson said the 13-year-old dog named Jesse brought the phone so she could call 911 and also brought her artificial leg.
"She got me outside and then she heard the cat upstairs and she went up there to get the cat and she wouldn't come back to me," Hanson, 49, said at a news conference Monday at Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center where she was being treated for her injuries.
She received third-degree burns to an arm in the fire Sunday night at her home in the town of Rhine south of Elkhart Lake, the Sheboygan County Sheriff's Department said, adding that both pets died in the fire.
Hanson, who lost a leg in a car accident three years ago, said she was on the couch watching television when the cat ran over the back of the couch.
"And he jumped onto a table that had a candle on it and tipped it over and lighted the artificial plants on fire," she said.
Hanson said she fell off the couch and was unable to get her artificial leg from the table, "so my dog got my leg for me and went and got the phone and brought the phone to me so I could call 911."
She said she tried to put the prosthetic leg on, but it was too hot, and the dog, a golden retriever-German shepherd mix, came to her aid again before going back inside for the cat.
When rescuers arrived, the house was fully engulfed in flames, the sheriff's department said. Hanson was in the doorway and was assisted by a deputy.
She was no longer being treated at the hospital when The Associated Press called Monday evening for further comment.