Family

Lexington woman credits dog with saving her from house fire

953 St. Martins Ave., Lexington. Teresa Horton's dog, Nelly, alerted her to the kitchen fire that destroyed her kitchen. Here Horton is pictured with Nelly and her granddaughter Jayda Rice.
953 St. Martins Ave., Lexington. Teresa Horton's dog, Nelly, alerted her to the kitchen fire that destroyed her kitchen. Here Horton is pictured with Nelly and her granddaughter Jayda Rice. Herald-Leader

Teresa Horton credits her dog Nelly — part Shih Tzu, part Chihuahua — with alerting her to a fire that damaged her kitchen Thursday night.

"He's the reason I am here," Horton said as Lexington firefighters hauled burned appliances from her home on St. Martins Avenue in Lexington.

Horton, 51, had put grease on the stove to cook fries while she went to the basement to fold laundry. Nelly — named after the rapper — soon came down and kept acting agitated and trying to get her to go upstairs, Horton said. Horton finally followed the dog and entered the kitchen. "All I saw was smoke and fire," she said.

Lexington fire Capt. Chris Harrod said the fire began around 7:30 p.m. and was "knocked down pretty quickly." There was significant damage to the kitchen, Harrod said.

Horton was unharmed. Nelly, wrapped in a blanket and held by Jayda Rice, Horton's granddaughter, appeared to suffer only some soot on the face.

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