NewsPasco County


'They died saving me': 6 howling dogs save owner from house fire

Posted at 5:32 PM, Feb 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 14:51:53-05

ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. — Standing in front of what’s left of her house, JoAnne Steen says she feels numb.


“I have so many emotions and they aren’t really coming out. They are all being bottled in."

She is thankful to be alive after a fire destroyed the home she's lived in for 12 years.

Joanne says all six of her dogs died in the fire.

“They died saving me. I could have been dead.”

Joanne says she was sleeping this morning around 7 a.m. when the dogs started howling.

An electrical fire behind the refrigerator inside her Zephyrhills home got out of hand quickly.

“I tried to open the doors to let the dogs out. Things just started exploding.”

Pasco Fire Rescue told Joanne she got just before the roof collapsed.

“I didn’t know it at the time, but my hair was on fire.”

A kitten also died, but another cat is safe because he was out of the house.

Joanne managed to get her charred wallet, but everything else she owns is gone.

Flames even melted the front of her car.

She is getting help from family and the Red Cross but doesn’t know what she’ll do next considering she didn’t have insurance.

A GoFundMe has been made to help.