Real life Lassie - Benji the dog saves his owner from fire in Seaford

A DOG owner has praised his Yorkshire terrier for waking him up after a fire broke out at his property in Seaford.

Chris Bolton said he was fast asleep and had been unaware of the blaze on the roof of the High Street flat.

Speaking after the drama, which unfolded last Thursday afternoon (May 5) he said: “He started barking and waking me up and I looked out of the window and saw the smoke. He was going absolutely bonkers.

“Without Benji God knows what would have happened.”

He also praised the speedy response of the firefighters who were on the scene shortly after the call came in just before 1pm.

The drama saw neighbour Olga Jenkins flee her home in her dressing gown.

She was just about to have a shower when she saw clouds of smoke.

A shaken up Mrs Jenkins said: “It was about midday and I was in my bedroom.

“I got a smell of smoke but thought it might be from someone smoking.

“I came into the kitchen when I saw clouds of smoke and then saw people from the antiques shop looking up.

“I saw my neighbour with his dog and he said, ‘Get out there’s a fire’ and I saw the guttering in flames.”

In total four fire engines were sent to the scene by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.

Onlookers watched as the expert team removed tiling from the roof area.

One eyewitness said: “It was smouldering for a long time and burst into flames.”

The incident saw the area cordoned off and motorists were unable to travel down that part of the High Street.

A total of 21 fire fighters were at the scene and three jets were used during Thursday’s fire.

Watch commander Rolando Hutchinson said the cause of the fire was under investigation and confirmed and no one had been injured.