Cache Bay family thankful for ‘Chewbacca’ and charity

Andre Arcand was alerted to a late night fire in his Cache Bay home by his ShihTzu Pekingese mix dog, Chewbacca. The warning barks allowed the family to escape the home without harm.

After escaping from a house fire unscathed, a Cache Bay family may be looking to upgrade their dog’s title beyond “man’s best friend.”

Without the barks of his ShihTzu Pekingese dog, Chewbacca spurring him into action, Andre Arcand says he may not have had time to get everyone out safely when his Cache Street house began blazing late on July 28.

“I was in the far room of the house about to fall asleep,” says Arcand. “If it wasn’t for (Chewbacca) it might have been too late before I realized what was happening.”

Thanks to Chewbacca’s warning, Arcand and his father were able to dash out of the home. All the occupants, including their five dogs and five cats, were able to get out safely, with only the clothes on their back.

“I’d like to remind everyone to inspect their smoke detectors regularly,” says Arcand. “In these type of scenarios, every second counts. We are truly lucky that everyone came out safe.”

The West Nipissing Fire Service responded to the call at 10:33 p.m. and by the time they arrived, the house was fully involved. There was an additional challenge to fighting the fire, because the property was so far back from the street.

“Because of the long driveway, we had to start with water tankers, then we rigged up a relay,” says WN Fire Chief Richard Maranda. “We’re taking water from hydrant, going to pumper, then pushing a high-volume hose to another pumper which is closer to the scene.”

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