Skip to main content

Family dog 'literally saved our lives' from devastating fire, Minnesota dad says

"We can never repay what she did for us today."

Fire may have gutted their home just before Christmas, but the Haegeman family of Nevis, Minnesota, has plenty to be thankful for as they recover — including a dog named Gracie.

According to a Facebook post from Devin Haegeman, the fire broke out in their trailer home around 5 a.m. Wednesday. Haegeman says the "gentle and kind and brilliant" Gracie woke up the oldest of his four children, Emily, whose shouting in turn woke up her dad, giving the family the time they needed to escape the blaze:

Haegeman explains that was able to get his sons out while his wife, Hannnah, "ushered the girls to safety" as the flames grew. At first, though, he couldn't find their heroic dog in the chaos.

"I went back for her, and had a hell of a time getting her to come with me, but I finally pulled her put from under our bed and carried her to the car," he writes. "A little CO poisoning was worth saving her before I knew she woke Emily up, but we can never repay what she did for us today."

Gracie started off as a foster dog until the Haegemans "fell in love" with her and ended up keeping her, the post says. 

Haegeman says the fire started in the laundry room, and that they are expecting a "complete and total loss" on the home. Despite this overwhelming setback, the family has "warm beds to sleep in for the time being, and the kids are in their jammies tucked in with new blankets and new stuffed animals."

Of the faithful Gracie, Haegeman had the following to say: 

I don't know who gives dogs medals for being super heros, but send them my way. Presidential accommodation is not out of the question, and Joe Biden loves dogs. I know that sounds ridiculous, but the President has issued medals for less. She's going to need a proper visit to the groomer right away to get the soot smell out, but she's got a warm bed with her family tonight.

A GoFundMe has been launched on the Haegemans' behalf, with organizers asking for help securing "housing, clothes, and beds for their family in this devastating time."

"No donation is too small as they have lost everything they own in the fire."

In the three days since it went live, the GoFundMe has garnered over $21,000 of a $42,000 fundraising goal. 

Minnesota is now in the most dangerous time of the year where fires are concerned; according to the State Fire Marshal, "most home fires occur in the winter" due to increased use of heaters.

Next Up


Ryan Poles picking Chicago creates battle of the rebuilds with Vikings

Both of the Vikings' GM finalists land in the same division looking to return to relevancy.

David Ortiz

Twins congratulate David Ortiz on HOF induction, it ends badly

Twins fans haven't forgotten the biggest mistake in franchise history.

Snowmobile tracks Any Arthur Flickr

Who left the burnt snowmobile on a frozen Minnesota lake?

There wasn't much left beyond the frame and a few other large, metal parts.

T Kline Robbinsdale City Council

Charges: Drunk council member fled police on wrong side of Hwy. 100

The complaint alleges he caused a wrong-way crash, then drove around an officer that tried to stop him.


What does the future hold for the Vikings at linebacker?

Anthony Barr is hitting free agency, and Eric Kendricks is approaching age 30

vehicle car

String of vehicle thefts in St. Paul, most left running unattended

The department is urging people not to leave their car running unattended.

kid hospital doctor

Child COVID hospitalizations reach pandemic-high in northern MN

As omicron surges, more kids are ending up in the hospital.

ice fishing close unsplash

'It's disgusting': Anglers dumping sewage on to popular ice fishing lake

A local CO told Bring Me The News it's people in newer, RV-style wheel houses.

Alejandro Rios and Michael Steward

Reward offered for information on 2021 double fatal shooting in St. Paul

It's been a year since Alejandro Rios and Michael Stewart were found dead on the sidewalk.


Rescued dog and her new owner, an Indiana firefighter

Dog severely burned in house fire adopted... by firefighter

Lexi Ann was on the brink of death after a "horrible" house fire in January.

Pit bull saves Minnesota family from destructive house fire

They were asleep in bed when their house caught fire Sunday night.

Fire destroys home and studio of Prince backing musician Morris Hayes.

Fire destroys home of longtime Prince collaborator Morris Hayes

The blaze leveled the musician's Arkansas house, and his home studio.

Screen Shot 2020-12-27 at 8.33.49 AM

Fundraiser launched for MN farm family after tragic Christmas Eve fire

1,000 goats and several other animals were lost in the blaze.

Zoey, a puppy stolen during a Minnetonka burglary.

Family thanks community after stolen puppy returned home

She was taken during a break-in in Minnetonka last Tuesday.