Rescue dogs return favor

Tia Lynn Ivey Community

When Thomas and Lisa Wagner rescued two dogs from the Humane Society several years ago, they never expected that Petey and Zeus would be the ones saving them.

A ravenous fire broke out at the Wagners’ Parks Mill Road home in Buckhead around 4 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 30. The Wagners and their teenage son Jack were fast asleep unaware of the deadly flames raging above them in the attic.

But Petey and Zeus could sense the danger and started barking incessantly from the downstairs living room.

“All that barking woke me up. So, I woke up my husband and he grabbed his gun and went downstairs to see if someone had come onto our property,” said Lisa. “I knew something was wrong. The barking was just different.”

According to Lisa, once her husband went downstairs to the dogs, he was still unaware of the fire until he walked outside to check the yard.

“The whole sky was orange,” said Lisa.

Thomas ran back inside to evacuate his wife and son, and of course, the two furry heroes who saved their lives.

“They really saved us. I don’t want to think about what could have happened if they hadn’t woken us up in time to get out,” said Lisa Wagner.

The Wagners and their pups escaped the fire unharmed, fleeing without shoes and only wearing pajamas.

“My husband and my son didn’t even have shirts on. None of us had shoes on. I only had time to grab a folder with our important papers them. Everything else is gone,” said Lisa.

The fire reduced the Wagner’s home to rubble and took firefighters all night to extinguish it.

According to Morgan County Fire and Rescue (MCFR), the fire originated in a bonus room above the garage. Firefighters arrived at the scene around 4 a.m. as the fire had already spread throughout the attic, caving in part of the ceiling and engulfed part of the living areas beneath.

According to Fire Chief Jeff Stone, 20 firefighters responded from every station in the county with 16 total apparatuses there to extinguish the raging blaze. The team worked all through the night and into the morning putting out the fire, wrapping up around 9:30 a.m.

“We estimated that about 55,000 gallons of water was used,” said Stone.  “The house and contents were a total loss.”

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but fire officials believe a faulty electrical wire in the attic likely started the blaze.

The Wagners are working with their insurance company on what to do next. In the meantime, family has set up a GoFundMe page to help the Wagners get through this difficult time.

“That was our home. Everything we had was there. And now it’s all gone,” said Lisa.

Family and friends who started the GoFundMe page for the Wagners set a $10,000 goal. To donate to help the Wagner Family, please visit:

Leave a Reply