Chesterfield family remembers ‘Mittens;’ beloved puppy who helped them escape fire

Posted at 11:02 PM, Aug 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-20 23:02:35-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. – A Chesterfield family is mourning the lost of their beloved puppy who helped them escape a house fire that claimed her life Sunday.

At just six months old Mittens had already captured her family's heart.

"She was always cuddling. She loved to show affection,” said Justin Burton.

Early Sunday morning, a devastating house fire claimed Mitten's life, but not before she alerted her family, allowing them to escape on the roof.

Mitten’s loud barks had alerted the Beatty family of danger around 3 a.m., before the smoke alarms even went off in their Windrush Court home.


"Me and my mom simultaneously woke up and we were going to run downstairs to see what was going on," said Jaidah McKenzie.

Then heavy smoke was billowing downstairs.

"Yes, the smoke was really thick," said McKenzie. "It was like grey smoke rushing toward us and we were panicking.”

The family tried to reach Mittens, but she was in her crate downstairs and beyond their reach.

McKenzie said that she, her mom, and her brothers had to climb onto the home’s roof to get away from the flames.

Justin and Jaidah

Feeling helpless, they stood with their mom and younger brother waiting for firefighters to arrive.

"While we were on the roof, my mom was screaming to the firefighters, please save my dog, please save my dog," said McKenzie.

Firefighters were able to break into the home, but despite efforts to resuscitate Mittens, she was gone.

On Monday, the family toured the destruction left behind.

"Everything has smoke and soot damage. So, nothing is salvageable," explained McKenzie.


While the Beatty family is grateful they're safe, the heartache is still overwhelming.

They say their mother is feeling Mitten's loss the most.

“I love her with all my heart. Don't really have much words to say than that," said Burton.

"We're going to get through this together," McKenzie added.

The family has established a GoFundMe account after they “lost everything " in the fire.

There has been no word on what sparked the fire.

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