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Family dog saves four people from raging fire that destroyed their entire Oberlin home

Posted at 10:27 PM, Mar 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-28 23:16:56-04

OBERLIN, Ohio — Flames were shooting from all sides of an Oberlin home, while four people were asleep inside.

The crackling fire and the rising smoke didn’t wake them, but luckily Riley did. She’s the family’s 6-year-old dog.

"She just kept bothering them and at first I think they were just annoyed with her,” said Caxixi Holsworth.

Holsworth was in the other room sleeping with her husband Rich when the fire started. Riley was in their daughters room, trying desperately to shake her awake.

"She jumped right up on the bed and got in their face and thats what made them get up,” said Rich Holsworth.

They all made it out alive, but the reality of having nothing quickly sunk in.

"All the memories, all the history, 20 years in that house, 31 years together,” said Holsworth.

But Riley wasn’t the only one with a good deed up her sleeve. The entire Oberlin community and beyond has jumped in to help the family.

Friends set up a Go Fund Me page and flooded the hotel where they’re now staying with donations.

“People on the street coming up, oh can I hug you? Is there anything I can do? And I’m thinking in my head—who the heck are you?” said Holsworth. “Which I’m so grateful, but that's the kind of thing it is, people you barely know are right there for you.”

"I'm so grateful to all the love we’ve gotten, all the hugs on the street all the clothing, everything that we have here has been given to us,” said Caxixi Holsworth.

While the Oberlin Community is rallying around the Holsworth’s they haven’t forgotten about Riley.

"She was a hero,” said Rich Holsworth. “They're having dedicated lunches for her in Oberlin and all kind of things, I mean she’s a superstar.”