By Kevin Murphy
(Reuters) - An Indiana family's pit bull is being praised for alerting a deaf boy to a serious fire in his home by licking the sleeping boy's face until he woke up, authorities said.
Nick Lamb, 13, told authorities that he was not wearing his hearing assistance implants while napping Wednesday afternoon as fire began spreading through his Indianapolis home, Indianapolis Fire Department Captain Rita Reith said Thursday.
The pit bull, Ace, went into Nick’s room during the fire and licked his face, Reith said. Alone in the house, Nick covered his nose and mouth with his T-shirt and he and Ace fled the house. The boy was examined and released at the scene.
“We hear of dogs barking to wake someone up during a fire but not licking their face,” Reith said.
The incident counters a popular image of pit bulls as dangerous and aggressive dogs, Reith said.
“This is a positive for the pit bull community,” she said.
The homeowner believes the blaze, which did an estimated $175,000 in damages, started in the garage from electrical causes, the fire department said.
(Reporting by Kevin Murphy in Kansas City)