Pit Bull Saves Long Island Woman from Fire

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    NEWSLETTERS

    An East Norwich woman is lucky to be alive. She had no idea that her house was on fire until her dog alerted her with his barks. Pei-Sze Cheng reports. (Published Saturday, May 4, 2013)

    A pit bull saved a woman from a fire in her Long Island home Friday, barking to alert her as the flames began to spread from the front to the back of the house.

    Jackie Bonasera said she was drying her hair in an upstairs bathroom of the home on Gabriele Drive in East Norwich when she heard the dog barking. She ran downstairs and saw the flames on the side of her garage. 

    She was able to escape the house.

    "I ran out of the house and my neighbors came running over, and then I thought about the dog -- I'm like, 'He saved my life, I have to save his,'" Bonasera recounted.

    "So I just put my robe over my face and I ran back in and I grabbed the dog and then I stood out here and I watched my house burn," she said.

    Bonasera believes she would have been trapped upstairs if the dog, named Cain, hadn't alerted her to the fire.

    Bonasera's daughter, Alexus Stallworth, said Cain is "the town hero."

    "He's a pit bull, too," said Stallworth. "They have such bad reps, but he's such a good boy."

    Stallworth was outside the house when the fire broke out and captured video of the blaze on her cell phone camera.

    More than 70 firefighters were needed to stop the fire. Although the cause has not been determined and the arson squad is investigating, police don't believe it's suspicious.

    The homeowner is a contractor who is working on several homes that were damaged by Sandy, and he said he now hopes he can get his own home fixed before winter.

    --Greg Cergol and Jeff Richardson contributed to this story