Guide dog saves life of his owner and grandson after smelling toxic fumes in kitchen

A guide dog has been praised for saving the lives of his owner and grandson after alerting them to toxic fumes coming from a faulty fridge.

Labrador-cross Iain started barking when the kitchen filled with gas, alerting Paul Whiting and Leon, aged six.

Mr Whiting, from Hartlepool, went downstairs and his eyes were hit by a burning sensation when he entered the kitchen.

The 53-year-old was treated in hospital after inhaling the fumes, as was his wife Barbara after she came home from an evening out.

Leon, who was asleep when Iain raised the alarm, escaped unharmed.

I knew something was wrong as guide dogs are discouraged from barking so it was very unusual for him to behave in this way.

Paul Whiting

Mr Whiting, who cannot see further than 15ft due to a genetic condition, later discovered a faulty compressor on their seven-year-old fridge was to blame for the potentially fatal fumes.

A spokesman for Guide Dogs For The Blind, who trained Iain, have described it as "truly amazing" and said: "Iain certainly went above and beyond the call of duty."

If it hadn't been for him it would have been terrible.

Paul Whiting

Iain has been by Mr Whiting's side for four years and is the third guide dog he has had since his eyesight deteriorated in his early 20s.