In the early hours of the morning on Saturday 28th May 2016, Jordan and the rest of the Ash family were all sleeping peacefully at their home in Dartmouth, when their pet dog Diesel alerted them that something was wrong. Diesel, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier the family adopted from us in 2015, began to stir from where he was sleeping at the bottom of Jordan’s bed. Diesel woke up barking and then tried desperately to wake Jordan, burrowing and scratching at the duvet, barking and licking his face till he awoke.

Jordan realised something was wrong, so he got up and opened the bedroom door, to see a wall of flames half way up the stairs, only six feet away from him. He woke his parents up, and Jordan’s Dad managed to climb out of the spare bedroom window onto the kitchen roof, and together they helped his Mum to do the same. Jordan ran back to get Diesel, who was now hiding under the bed. The whole upper storey of the house was now completely filled with smoke, and the fire was advancing quickly. Jordan almost fainted when picking up Diesel but managed to get himself together, and ran out with Diesel. The fire was so close as they ran past that Diesel’s whiskers were singed in the flames!


Jordan passed Diesel out of the window to his Dad, and then jumped out onto the kitchen roof, from where the family were able to climb down to safety, where they waited for the Fire Brigade.

The next day the family took Diesel to the vet to be checked over, and thankfully he was pronounced completely fine.

The house was completely gutted by the fire, which had been caused by their freezer catching fire. Everything was gone including the staircase, and the whole house is now being refitted. The family would almost certainly have been killed in the fire if Diesel had not woken them.

Diesel originally came to Animals in Distress as someone had dumped him on a cycle path. Diesel was at the Rescue Centre for many months before the Ash family came along to rehome him. Unfortunately people’s misconceptions about Staffies often lead to them being overlooked by potential rehomers; in fact Staffies are loyal and friendly dogs who love people, and can make wonderful family pets. They are brilliant with children, and are brave, but enjoy playing more than being tough.

Diesel is a fantastic dog, and as well as being a brave hero he is Jordan’s best friend. Everyone at Animals in Distress is so proud of Diesel, and we have nominated him for a PDSA Commendation Award for Devotion and Bravery.