Bulldog Credited With Saving Family From Fire

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WHITING, Kan. (WIBW) -- An area family is picking up the pieces from an overnight fire that burned their home to the ground Thursday.

It happened in the small town of Whiting in Jackson County, just northeast of Holton. Besides the devastation of the fire, is the amazing story of their escape.

In this survival story, there are not just one, but two, heroes to thank.

As six members of the Roles family and two young friends staying the night slept, the family bulldog, Abram, sensed something wasn't right.

A fire was engulfing the house.

Kasey Roles, mother of the four children, was upstairs asleep, while her husband, John Roles, was asleep downstairs on the couch with one of their kids.

Abram walked to the front of the house and began scratching at the window.

"As soon as he scratched on the window my husband woke up and he saw the flickering of the fire coming through the kitchen," Kasey said.

John, immediately acted on his instincts, yelling for the family to wake up.

What happened next is why Kasey is calling her husband a hero. John jumped out a staircase window, waiting to catch the rest below.

As the smoke thickened, Kasey saw the look of panic on the kids' faces.

"He screamed for them to jump, and I thought this was it for me," Kasey said. "If anyone's going [to] go last it's going [to] be me."

One by one, coughing and choking from the smoke, they made the jump.

Kasey said when she finally jumped, she never hit the ground.

"He is my true hero," she said of her husband. "He's my everything and we lost everything but I'm okay, I have my family."

They have each other, but one daughter lost her chihuahua, among other precious items.

Abby and Adam Brey were the two spending the night with the Whitings. Their parents were supposed to leave for a Vegas trip the following morning.

"It was really sad because she really liked all her Cabbage Patch Kids and all of them are gone now. She had like nine of them," Abby said.

Now, after smoke inhalation and one broken bone, the family is figuring out what to do next.

As they search for what's left among the charred remains of their home, they're also searching for Abram. The little watchdog who gave them their first alert is misisng.

"My other little hero is around here somewhere in Whiting and I can't find him," Kasey said.

The Role's oldest son was flown to Children's Mercy in Kansas City for a broken leg. Kasey told 13 News he jumped over his father so that he could catch someone else.

The Roleses had just paid off their house and cars, all of which are destroyed.