"Ace" licked 13-year-old Nick Lamb's face to wake him up from a nap as his house caught fire Wednesday afternoon. After the boy, who was born deaf and had taken his hearing aids out to sleep, realized the danger he and his dog got out of the home to safety.
"I feel like I got a second chance because of Ace," Nick said Thursday.
The story of Ace's heroics quickly went viral online, spread by a large group of pit bull owners who say it's good the breed is getting recognized for Ace's actions.
"Ace just boosted up their reputation a little bit," Nick said.
The dog is popular in the family's Perry Pines Court neighborhood.
"He plays with all the kids in the neighborhood," James Bernard said.
But Wednesday made the two and a half year old pit bull a celebrity after alerting Nick to the fire and saving his life.
"I'm kind of at a loss for words. I think we've grown that much closer to the dog than we ever have been. It's hard to explain. It's a love that can't be replaced," Bernard said.
But the family almost never got Ace.
"My wife she isn't too keen on dogs, she's more of a cat person," Bernard laughs.
They later compromised, and got Ace when he was nine weeks old.
The family is happy to have everyone safe and now focus on getting their life back together.
"My phone and my wife's phone just won't stop blowing up. Everybody's offering to help. It's greatly appreciated. It's a little overwhelming," Bernard said.
And while their home sits in ruins, there's one thing they're happy to have.
"My biggest thing was our wedding pictures. And luckily it was untouched. Untouched. The only thing in the whole house that was not touched by water or anything," Bernard said. "As long as we have each other, we're fine. We don't need anything else."
The pit bull wasn't the only happy pet story at the scene Wednesday. The family thought their cat, "Pixie," may have been lost in the fire. But after a long search, firefighters brought her out of the home alive. She cuddled contently in Nick's arms before she was taken to a veterinarian to be treated for smoke inhalation.
Tonight at 5:00, reporter Matt McCutcheon talks with Nick and his parents about their heroic dog, the outpouring of support and how they're starting to put their life back together.
Wednesday, July 30 2014 7:38 PM EDT2014-07-30 23:38:00 GMT
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