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Katy Dog Saves Owner's Life in House Fire


March 14, 2019

By Natalie Cook Clark

A Katy resident was saved by her dog Marley, who promptly alerted his owner that the house was on fire.

Patrycia Metzler was in a deep sleep on Wednesday at about 3:20 a.m. when her home in the Westland subdivision caught fire. She woke up to find her dog, Marley, persistently licking her face. "He just wouldn't stop," says Metzler. "He licked, barked, pawed, and pulled at my hair until I got up. When I opened my door the house was full of flames."

Escaping the Flames

Metzler picked up her small chihuahua Belle, and together they stayed at Marley's side as he led them out of the house through a small break in the flames out the front door. "I don't remember much. I passed out in the grass outside and then I remember the fire fighters getting there," recalls Metzler. "They kept talking about how Marley saved me and he wouldn't leave my side. Metzler, Marley, and Belle were all evaluated and were unharmed from the fire.

Patrycia and Marley. Photo Credit: Patrycia Metzler

Suspected Electrical Fire

"It was something electrical in or around the microwave," says Simon VanDyk. "It is unclear at this time whether all of the smoke alarms in the home were working." The resident had recently moved into the house.

"We have had far too many homeowners alerted by their dogs because there alarms are too old and no longer reliable. Many don’t know you are supposed to replace devices that are more than 10 years old," cautions VanDyk. "Dogs help, but what would be better is having up to date, working smoke alarms."

Home Devastated

Metzler lost everything in the fire but she's lucky that her three daughters were not home. She is currently in the middle of a divorce and battling breast cancer. "Marley and Bella are my everything," says Metzler. "First I saved him and now he's saving me."

Adopted from CAP

Metzler and her soon to be ex-husband adopted Marley five years ago from Katy animal shelter CAP. Marley was just a puppy then and Metzler was hesitant on getting a dog. Metzler says they paid the adoption fees with money they collected in a jar over the years and Marley has been by her side ever since. "He's very protective of me and my children," she says.

Safeguarding Homes from Fire

Metzler had just moved into her house and it is not known if the smoke alarms went off or were operating at the time of the fire.

Harris County Emergency Service District 48 offers a free home safety survey. "If you invite us out to your home, we check your smoke alarms and make sure they are in the right place and are functioning properly as part of our survey," explains VanDyk.

Learn more safety information and schedule a survey at Harris County ESD 48's website.


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