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Friday, July 10, 2020

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Leo the lifesaver: Puppy saves family from fire

Jan 9, 2020

By Joseph Abraham - co-editor

By: Contributed Photo
Leo, a beagle/jack russell mix, saved his family by alerting them of the fire. Karen Campos calls him a, “true blessing.”
WOODBOURNE — When 13-year-old Josue Campos asked his parents, Nicols and Blanca, for a puppy, they were hesitant to oblige because of the amount of work it takes caring for a pet. However, just a few months ago, they had a change of heart, adding a new member to their family named Leo -- a beagle/jack russell mix. What they didn't know at the time is how that decision would significantly impact their lives.
On Sunday morning, Nicols and Blanca left for work. Less than 20 minutes later a fire broke out at the family's home at 23 Old Silver Pond Road in Fallsburg.
Leo was the first to notice something was wrong, and began to bark at and paw Josue, a heavy sleeper, until he woke up.
Josue then noticed smoke coming from his parents' room and realized their home was on fire. He then woke up his older sister Karen, a Fallsburg graduate and SUNY Sullivan student, and her boyfriend. Karen then woke up her younger sister Genesis and their cousin who had spent the night. The way to the home's main entrance was full of smoke, so the family used the glass side door to escape.
In response to Leo's heroic actions, Karen calls him, “A true blessing,” because if he wasn't there to wake them up, it would have been incredibly painful for her parents had something happened to them.
The Woodbourne Fire Company responded to the structure fire around 8 a.m., according to Fire Chief David Brundage. Upon arrival the home was fully involved and they immediately called for a second alarm. The Loch Sheldrake Fire Company came to aid them at the scene, with the Hurleyville and Woodridge Fire Departments standing by.
According to Brundage, the fire took about a half hour to get under control.
The Campos family lost everything in the fire, but fortunately no one was hurt. The fire is still under investigation by the Sullivan County Bureau of Fire.
Following Sunday's fire, the Campos family have received an outpouring of support.
“The community has been amazing,” Karen said, noting that they've given them clothing, shoes and basic necessities.
The Woodbourne Fire Company accepted clothing donations that the family picked up earlier this week.
The Campos family are now looking for a 3-4 bedroom home or apartment to rent. They hope to stay in the Fallsburg School District and have loved living in the town.
A GoFundMe has been created to help the family:
You can also call Karen at 845-665-3403 to find out further ways to assist the Campos family.

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