Dog Saves Family From Fire While Causing Bankruptcy


Christmas Miracle

Just days before Christmas, a family in Minnesota woke up their worst nightmare. Dad woke up to the screams of his eldest daughter outside his bedroom door.

Devin Haegamen could smell smoke from inside the house. It turns out the family may not have escaped their burning home in time if it had not been for their dog, Gracie. The family lived to tell the tale of how they narrowingly escaped death’s clutches.

Amazing Gracie

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The loyal and superheroic dog joined the family about six months ago in what was initially meant to be a temporary foster situation, which eventually turned permanent.

The family fell in love with the dog and adopted her, naming her Gracie. How fitting the name would prove to be after she rescues them from a tragic loss.

Danger Lurking Inside

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Dad recalled the incident saying, ‘the moment we realized that we were in danger, we went into autopilot,’ Devin says, ‘as a parent, I’ve asked myself a million times what I would do in that situation, but neither of us hesitated.’

Devin explains how the house filled with smoke, and they quickly got the kids before he went back in to fetch the dog and the fire extinguisher.

Finding Gracie

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Devin panicked as he searched the smokey house for Gracie. ‘He struggled in getting the dog to come to him and finally snatched Gracie from under the bed and carried her into the car’. Devin added that a bit of smoke poison was worth his dog’s life.

Nothing was going to stop this dad from saving all his family members, Gracie included. He barely escaped the fire the first time, but not even that would prevent him from saving Gracie.

Narrow Escape

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Before escaping, Devin says he says sparks shooting up from behind the dyer, but gave up trying to put it out and ran out of the house.

In his mind, he thought that he could distinguish the already growing fire and try to salvage whatever little they could. However, the fire proved indestructible, and within a few minutes, the fire spread from room to room and burned everything in its way.

Fire Spreading

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Devin says that in ‘less than 10 minutes after everyone got out, the laundry room became utterly engulfed, and flames were shooting into the sky. The house was a total loss, and the boy’s bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen were demolished.

The house was pitch black from the fire, and all they could do was stand outside as they watched their home, memories, and lives go up in flames.

Making It Out

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The fire spread so quickly that every room burnt in seconds, and as fire-rescue units arrived, they found the doublewide mobile home on fire. ‘They had the fire under control in about 35 minutes, stopping further damage to the building but performed an overhaul for several hours’.

‘The fire had burned under the home, causing the floor in two front rooms to collapse. The fire also burned the void space above the ceiling, igniting the roof’. (Klonopin) said the fire-rescue crew as they tried to put out the fire

Fighting The Fire

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A report from the fire states that ‘firefighters had problems extinguishing the roof due to a metal roof installed over the old shingles, which made it difficult to reach the burning shingles.’ Most of the interior of the home and personal belongings became heavily disfigured, CCFR officials said.

Crews were on the scene for five hours. Five hours of anguish, of hoping that some belongings will still be safe from the fire and of waiting. The tragedy of watching everyone you worked so hard for, going up in flames.

Surviving The Fire


It turns out the former National Guardsman Devin and his wife, still enlisted as a Guardsman Hannah, and their four kids might not have escaped their burning Nevis home in time if it had not been for Gracie, their family dog.

Devin says he doesn’t know who gives dogs medals for superheroes, but they need to send one his way for Gracie. Gracie showed courage and displayed the most genuine act of love by putting herself in danger for those she loved, her family.

History Repeating Itself

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On that fated early December 22nd morning, Devin later learned that it was Gracie who first woke their two boys, Maddox 4 and Daniel 2, before bounding off to the room of their eldest daughter Emily, 9.

The dad also shared how in 2000, his parents lost their home in a fire. He says, ‘it never occurred to me that they precisely felt what I am feeling today, because we picked up the pieces, got a new house, and got new stuff’.

Helping Hands

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Most of their belongings were covered in smoke and were not salvageable. Devin shared the tragic news on his Facebook account. Within hours, the family had enough new clothes and toys from friends and organizations that they’d never even heard of before wanting to donate.

The community rallied around the family and gave them something hopeful to believe. They lost everything, but now they had clothes and shelter.

Finding A New Home

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In the days following the loss of their home, Devin made a few calls and was able to find a fully furnished rental. So now they had clothes to wear and a few things from their friends and organizations.

Devin did what his parents did in 2000, picked up the pieces, and moved on. However, the fantastic thing about this time was the support from their friends and family. Social media helped play a part in spreading their plea and thank you.

Tragedy Averted


The fire situation could have become one of those bizarre tragic stories you read. Instead, thanks to the quick action of their trusted and loved dog, this family managed to celebrate Christmas together unharmed.

Devin says, despite the overwhelming setback, ‘the family has warm beds, and the kids are in their new pajamas with new stuffed animals and blankets’.

Forever Grateful To Gracie

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Devin says Gracie will never quite understand just how grateful they are that she was there for them, but she is family, and that is what family does, protect and love each other.

The Haegeman’s say that they will forever be indebted to Gracie for saving their lives. Gracie managed to wake the kids up just enough for everyone to escape unharmed.

Charity Begins At Home


In their lowest moment, the family has received so much love and support from their community and friends, but the story is only beginning.

Nikki Thomas took it upon herself to start a Go Fund Me account for the family in the hopes of raising $42.000, but the support has been so generous that they have managed to raise $26.156 and receive donations in clothes and other belongings. The fund is still growing in hopes that the family will rebuild their dream home.