Dog's disappearance notifies Landis woman of fire

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 30, 2011

By Nathan Hardin
LANDIS — Little Lady didn’t want to come inside Tuesday evening, and that may have saved her owner’s life.
Lady is Margaret Patten’s Chihuahua mix.
Patten said she let Lady out Tuesday evening like she usually does, but she couldn’t get the dog to come back inside the 811 S. Highland St. home later that night when she called.
“By her not coming to the door and coming inside last night when I called her, I had to go back and check on her later,” Patten said. “That’s when I saw the fire.”
Patten said Windstream had installed a satellite dish at her home earlier that day, and, during the installation, the city’s power lines had been hit.
Several hours later, she said, 2- to 3-foot flames were shooting from the pole’s base.
“I’m not used to all this kind of excitement,” she said today, laughing. “It started blazing up.”
Patten called 911 and went across the street to a neighbor’s house.
Rowan County fire investigator Deborah Horne was at the house Tuesday night and said it appeared the dish’s installation was the cause of the fire.
“It appears when they dug the pole into the ground, they accidently hit one of the Landis power lines,” Horne said.
The fire, which started about 8:30 p.m., was small and damage was minimal, she said. “The Landis Fire Department got here quickly and did an outstanding job.”
For Patten, Lady was the evening’s top dog.
“I don’t know how long it would have been before I would have discovered it,” she said.