Parrot Credited for Alerting Apartment Complex Residents of Fire

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In Owensboro, a pet bird and its owner, credited for alerting residents of an early morning fire at an apartment complex Saturday.

Thirteen people escaped the fire in the early morning hours.

This is Birdman, an African Grey parrot.

“I think he saved my life, probably,” says its owner, Linda Pennington, who was woken up by Birdman’s squawking around 4:00 am Saturday as a fire roared in the attic of her apartment building on Daviess Street.

“He was screaming that night. A screaming I have never heard before,” Pennington recalled. “I went out and I looked at the eave of the house, and the smoke was coming out of the eave. So, I called the fire department and right after that, they got here, and it was on fire.”

“It’s amazing that the bird woke her up,” adds Cynthia Wilson, one of Pennington’s neighbors at the apartment building.

After calling 911, Pennington, and a few of her neighbors, knocked on a few doors, to alert them of the fire.

“We could’ve all slept right through it. I went out and ran, and woke my neighbor up, and everybody else got up and we started knocking on everybody’s door to get everybody out,” she says.

“In my 30 years, I think this is the first of an actual bird waking people up,” says Owensboro Fire Chief Steve Mitchell. “Animals are amazing. They can sense danger. Obviously, this was the case at this particular fire.”

Three people were treated for medical reasons at the scene. Fire investigators are still determining the exact cause. Pennington and other residents sized up the damage at their homes, still thankful for that call from that bird.

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