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Down Martey - how my pet pooch set my home on fire.

Byline: Katie Davies Reporter katie.davies@ncjmedia.co.uk

MARTEY the hungry Labrador set fire to its owners' home as it reached for left-over food on top of the cooker.

A full-scale rescue operation was launched when the Golden Lab' started the blaze after he reached up to the stove and knocked one of the hobs on.

Plumes of thick black smoke billowed from the kitchen when the hob set light to a magazine that was near to the oven.

Megan Campbell, 24, and her partner Darren Wheatley, 26, are thankful to their dog walker Nicola Robinson who noticed the smoke when she came to collect Martey for his walk.

Special needs teacher Megan said: "Nicola went into the kitchen to take the dog for a walk and the hob was on.

"The dog has jumped up and knocked the switches on and caused the hob to flame.

"It's set fire to everything around it.

"The fire has totally destroyed the kitchen and caused smoke damage to the rest of the house.

"When she went in she saw the dog cowering in the corner.

"She got him out and then went back in to turn the hob off.

"We're just thankful she saved him and if she hadn't gone in when she did the fire service said we would have come home to nothing."

Megan and her partner were at work when the fire started in their home in Barley Mow, Gateshead, at around lunchtime last Tuesday.

They first heard about the blaze when Nicola, who owns Woofa World, in Gateshead, called Megan at work.

Megan said: "I couldn't believe it when she rang.

"I laughed at first. You never think this sort of thing will happen to you and you don't expect your dog to do it.

"How many people can say their dog nearly burnt their house down?" Nicola started looking after rescue dog Martey, two, just over a month ago.

The 37-year-old said: "Normally Martey is waiting at the door for me jumping up but he wasn't. Straight away I noticed the smell.

"It was really dark and the whole place was just black with smoke.

"I grabbed Marty and took him outside. I went back in to turn off the hob "There was some food on the back of the cooker and I think he might have been trying to get that.

"I didn't realise how dangerous it was until I thought about it later."

It is not known how much it will cost to repair the kitchen but Megan says all the units will need to be replaced.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue crew manager Chris Cowie said thankfully nobody had been hurt.

"Luckily there was no one at home when the kitchen was on fire as this could have been a far more dangerous situation if it had happened during the night," he said. The house had a ground floor smoke alarm, but firefighters have since fitted another on the first floor following the fire.

See a video of Martey the dog at: www.chroniclelive.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

Megan Campbell with Martey, and below, dog walker Nicola Robinson with Megan, the damage to the kitchen and Megan and Nicola in the kitchen
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 19, 2014
Words:540
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