Dogs alerted owners of House fire in Takeley Essex
House fire in Dunmow Road, Takeley, Essex | (Essex Fire Service/PA) (Twitter: @ECFRS)

On May 21, 2023, a huge fire broke into the neighborhood in Takeley, Essex during the early hours of the morning.

A homeowner said they were alerted by their dogs with their loud barking, waking them up to a “sea of orange.”

Around 2:43 am, the Essex Fire Service put out the flames, which caused damage to the detached house on Dunmow Road. 

House fire in Dunmow Road, Takeley, Essex on May 21, 2023
House fire in Dunmow Road, Takeley, Essex on May 21, 2023 | Essex Fire Service/ PA Media

Officers are now investigating what caused the fire in the building, which is now inhabitable due to the severe damage.

Station Manager Terry Maher said, “The fire started in an outbuilding at the rear of the property and quickly spread to the roof of the house.”

But thanks to the alert dogs, owners quickly responded and saved themselves from the tragedy.

A neighbor said they saw the couple, who owns the house, standing in the garden with their two Chihuahuas.

The Essex Fire Service also managed to save horses in a nearby stable with the help of neighbors.

It was absolutely terrifying – the stables had filled with smoke, the horses were terrified, and we had to lead them through blowing smoke and blowing embers,” a neighbor said.

The Essex Fire Service crew worked hard to put out the fire despite the limited water supply.


Compassion for pets is fuel to Lenin's lifelong mission. As a fur mom to a Havanese dog and 6 stray cats, Lenin sees the joy in rescuing and giving pets a chance at a forever home. Even in her career as a freelancer, Lenin focused on writing everything about pets — from breed profiles to nutrition down to some of their interesting facts.