A rescued dog saved the lives of the family that had recently adopted him when he woke them during a house fire in the middle of the night.

The family adopted Wilbur, a one-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback, from Dogs Trust Ireland in January. When the family heard the usually quiet dog barking frantically one night, they knew something was wrong. 

"Wilbur saved both mine and my son’s life," said the owner of the dog. Thanks to Wilbur raising the alarm, they were able to quickly leave the house being engulfed in flames, reports TodayFm.com.

"If it wasn’t for the fact he barked until I woke to alert us something was wrong, I would never have known the house was on fire until it was too late. He is undoubtedly a hero in our eyes and forever our most loyal friend.”

Not all heroes wear capes… Some of them like Wilbur here, have fur coats
Normally a quiet dog, he saved his family from a fire that was engulfing their home, by barking frantically to wake them. Read more about the heroic hound: https://t.co/pMg14s823L#HeroHound #WhoRescuedWho pic.twitter.com/afdGPELhMY

— Dogs Trust Ireland (@DogsTrust_IE) September 13, 2022

Wilbur was surrendered to the animal charity as a puppy in December 2021, after his first owners realized he was a larger breed than they expected, reported Newstalk.

According to Dogs Trust, Wilbur's heroics are not surprising. Rhodesian Ridgebacks were originally bred to be brave and to protect.

Sandra Ruddell, Assistant Manager at Dogs Trust Ireland said: “Wilbur’s family gave him a second chance in life by adopting him, and in turn, he saved their lives and their home. We are so grateful that everyone is okay, and that the family and Wilbur could get to safety."

She added: "Rhodesian Ridgebacks were originally bred for their bravery and to protect the family home, so it's no surprise that Wilbur lived up to his heroic heritage.

"All our dogs are special, but Wilbur's story really goes to show you how loyal our canine companions are.

"If you are looking to add a dog to your life, choose rescue and you never know, that dog might just come to your rescue one day too."