Man credits dog with saving him from fire - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

'I would have been a goner if it weren't for her'

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PORT RICHEY (FOX 13) -

Silhouettes of furniture and singed framework are all that remains of the place Will Baddgor called home for four years.

"Gonna have to start over," he observed. "All over."

A fire ripped through the Vietnam vet's mobile home Saturday morning. He's battling terminal cancer from Agent Orange and was sleeping in after a rough night.

But someone was watching over him -- a little lady who goes by the name of 'Trooper.'

"I heard her scratching at the door, the bedroom door, trying to get in to wake me up to let me know something was wrong," he recalled.

That's when Baddgor saw the smoke seeping in under the doorframe.

"I got up, opened the door; I didn't even have time to grab clothes," he continued.

Baddgor says the ceiling was on fire and the flames were shooting down. He says Trooper had to crawl on her belly through the burning hallway in order to make it to his bedroom door.

"In 20 seconds, I would have been a goner if it weren't for her," he said.

"I came around the corner of my shed, and all I saw were flames coming out from everywhere," neighbor Lee Nash said.

Baddgor lost everything except trooper and the clothes on his back.

"The rest of the stuff can be replaced. But your life and your best friend can't be replaced," offered Nash.

It's the silver lining shining in the face of tragedy -- a priceless bond between a man and his very best friend.

"This one's a testimony to that," Baddgor added.

An electrical problem may have caused the fire, but that's just an early theory.

The Red Cross is helping Baddgor and Trooper for now, but they'll eventually need a new place to stay.

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