KATY MAGAZINE | April 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.
Marley saved his owner, Patrycia Metzler from a house fire
Patrycia Metzler was in a deep sleep on Wednesday, March 13 at about 3:20 a.m. when her home in the Westland subdivision in Katy caught fire. She woke up to find her dog, Marley, persistently licking her face.
"He just wouldn't stop," says Metzler, who described Marley's behavior as different than normal. "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 Bella, and they stayed at Marley's side as he led them through a small break in the flames and 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 Bella were all unharmed by the fire.
Photo Credit: Harris County Emergency Service District 48
Suspected Electrical Fire
"It was something electrical in or around the microwave," says Simon VanDyk, Public Information Officer at Harris County ESD 48 Fire Department. "It is unclear at this time whether all of the smoke alarms in the home were working."
"We have had far too many homeowners alerted by their dogs because their 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."
Saving Each Other
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 about getting a dog. She 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.
Huge Rascal Flats Fan
Metzler says Marley loves his country music. Before they lost their Alexa in the fire, Marley used to sit and bark until Patrycia would put on his favorite tunes. "Marley is a huge fan of Rascal Flats," says Metzler, who laughs at memories of Marley entertaining house guests.
Marley also enjoys homemade treats, going on walks, and jumping in dirty water. "We can be out on a walk and if there is a single, dirty puddle anywhere, Marley will seek it out and want to play in it," says Metzler. Luckily Marley enjoys his baths too.
Preventing Home Fires
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.