Cheating Death Twice, Army Vet Escapes Fire With Dog's Alert

10:42 PM, Apr 25, 2013   |    comments
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Mount Airy, NC -- Matthew Reed was just getting into a deep sleep Monday night, when his dog Lucy started licking his face.

He says it wasn't the normal, playful way she usually tried to get his attention so he knew something must have been wrong.


When he opened his eyes, all he saw was smoke and all he felt was extreme heat.

WFMY News 2's Morgan Hightower met with Reed and his family Thursday in Mount Airy.

"They say as long as you wear this, you'll always have good luck...and you'll always-" Matthew Reed pauses as he tries to get the words out. "I'm sorry."

Matthew Reed has always had luck on his side, although sometimes, it doesn't look like it.

Reed served three tours in Iraq and while there, his vehicle was hit by an IED, he saw his friends die, and he was shot three times by enemy fire.

"Somebody was definitely looking out for me."

This time, that somebody was Lucy.

"Never thought in a million years I'd be getting saved by my dog," said Reed.

His dog's persistent licks saved his life.

"She really is part of the family, and she did take care of us, she was our little angel that night, and without this dog, I don't know if I would have my brother right now," said Billy Reed.

Billy is Matthew's brother and roommate. He was out picking up dinner when he got the call about the fire.

"It was just utter terror, that's what I see when I look at it now. We lost everything we have. Every possession, we have," said Billy.

They lost almost everything. The firefighters knew Matthew was a veteran, and they were able to save his family bible, some photographs, and his army vest.

Inside the vest that protected him from enemy fire was the American flag that was laid on his grandfather's casket. 

"It's amazing," said Matthew.

And amazingly enough, it all would have been lost without luck and Lucy.

"Thank God for the dog," said Billy.

Matthew and his family say they're overwhelmed by the support they've gotten from their Mount Airy community.


They say within the hour of getting the call, The Red Cross and American Legion were there to help.

The fire is still under investigation, but investigators believe it started in the kitchen.

The family says they will rebuild.

WFMY News 2

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