"Anna woke me up. I had an awful headache. The place was filled with smoke,"stated Candace Jennings.
At about 3:30 am Thanksgiving morning, Anna repaid the debt she may have thought she owed to Jennings. The abused stray blonde heeler that Jennings had rescued from a shelter, began whining and nudging Jennings who had fallen asleep on the couch. She found her trailer engulfed in flames when she awoke.
Jenning ran outside of her Idaho City, Idaho home with Anna close behind. Once she was outside though, Jennings realized that she had left her keys in her backpack. She is a janitor in town and she had a set that held everyone's keys, so she went back inside to retrieve them. Anna followed her back inside, which then led to her second rescue of Jennings.
Candace never made it to the keys.... she was overcome by the smoke and became disorientated. Instead of crawling back outside, she turned the wrong direction and was headed into the pantry. Anna once again nudged her towards the door and escape into the 15 degree morning weather.
The roof collapsed just after they both ran from the trailer and Anna and Jennings in just her pajamas and barefeet took shelter under some nearby trees. Jenning suffered frostbite and burns to her feet but she, Anna and two other dogs of hers made it out alive. The mobile home is a total loss and it is felt that the fire may have been caused by an electrical problem.
The town that Jennings, an artist who has lived there since 1975, has spent so many years helping is stepping up and helping her in return. The owner of the Idaho City Hotel has offered her a room, people are collecting clothes for her and a special bank account has been set up for her in a local bank. It didn't surprise many that she would have risked her life to go back for the keys, though........ most people feel that she thinks of others long before she will think about doing for herself.
Fortunately for Jennings, her good works seem to have come back to her tenfold in her time of need..... beginning with the dog she opened her heart to and rescued.