Goat gains vital place in family after fire alert

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WEINER, Ark. - A family recently survived a house fire because of their pet goat. The even crazier part of this story is that the dad of the family wasn't crazy about the animal at first but has now changed his mind.

Like any parent, Nick Bruce wasn’t excited about another mouth to feed.

"I didn't like the goat,” Bruce said. “Didn't care nuthin’ about the goat."

Speedy, a white dwarf goat, was an unexpected birthday present for his daughter, Abigail.

“I like the little goat,” said Abigail.

The timing of the newest addition to the Bruce family couldn’t have come at a better time. Late Saturday night, just days after Abi got Speedy, the goat turned into a superhero.

"The goat was waking me up,” said Abigail. "It was bouncing on me and screaming. I heard the windows busting and then I saw fire outside."

"Abi came running in the bedroom and said it was smoky and she couldn't hardly breathe,” said Bruce.

"I thought it was hailing,” said Abigail.

That hail was the crackling from the flames.

"We could see the fire coming around the outside of the windows,” said Bruce.

Bruce eventually got his family out safely but, had it not been for Speedy, it could have been a different story.

“I'm just glad that we got out before the fire happened or we wouldn't be here,” said Abigail.

"It gets heavy on you, it pulls your heart strings. It could have been worse,” said Bruce.

While he didn’t care for Speedy at first, he feels differently about his daughter’s gift now.

"Aw, we're good now. He ain't going nowhere,” he said with a grin.

The entire family agrees.

"I think he means a lot right now; well, not just right now but forever,” said Abigail.

Firefighters teamed up with local residents to take donations to help the Bruce family get back on their feet.