DOGGONE HELPFUL — ‘Peeps,” a 9-year-old Chihuahua shown here all decked out for the holidays, proved to be both cute and helpful, alerting owner Anna Mantelli to a stove fire Friday. (Photo submitted)

‘Peeps’ alerts owner to fire in apartment complex

Published Dec 7, 2017 at 12:02pm

Heroes can come in all packages.

At least that’s the lesson learned by Anna Mantelli, whose 9-year-old Chihuahua “Peeps” helped alert not only her, but other residents of a fire that occurred at Colonial 2 Apartments Friday evening.

According to fire officials, the incident was the result of burnt food on the stove.

Mantelli, who resides at Apt. 509, the fifth floor of 310 Cottage St., said Peeps started to act unusual and wouldn’t stop barking and pacing.  

“I said, ‘OK, I’ll take you,’ but Peeps started running up and down the hall barking, because she knew something was wrong,” the resident said.

Mantelli said she could smell smoke when Peeps ran up to the door where the odor was coming from.  She then started pounding on all the doors on the floor, but at first, no one was answering.  

“My dog was the only one who notified me there was a fire,” she said.

After Peeps’ warning, Mantelli said she went back inside her apartment to grab her cell phone and called 9-1-1. Minutes later, she said two men and a woman were able to exit their neighboring apartments.

Soon Rome Fire Department showed up as the affected apartment filled with black smoke.

“Thank God no one was there and the person who lived there doesn’t have any pets,” Mantelli said, adding that she is the only resident on the fifth floor with a pet.  Firefighters “said if anyone was there they might have not survived because of all the smoke.”

Responding firefighters used equipment to ventilate the smoke upon arrival. No one was injured in the incident, fire officials added.