Man Says Shelter Dog Paid It Forward, Saved Him From House Fire

Jim Zimerla says he was fast asleep with his hearing devices out when his 5-year-old lab mix hopped on his bed to alert him of the danger.

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Jim Zimerla of Jackson, NJ, says that Marley, the dog he rescued from a shelter, is his hero.

Zimerla told reporters for WTOL that he was fast asleep when flames engulfed his home. His hearing devices were out. He had no idea of the danger he was in.

Marley, he says, jumped on the bed to wake him.

The exits were blocked, so he and the dog scrambled out the bedroom window.

“There was no thinking, it was just get to the window. I was able to get it open and you know put him out the best I could and I jumped out,” Zimerla said. “If it wasn’t for Marley, Marley’s my hero. It’s just as simple as that, Marley’s my hero. I knew when I got the dog we were meant to be.”

Zimerla said he rescued Marley from a shelter and now the 5-year-old lab mix has repaid him.