Service dog found alive, unharmed inside unit 7 hours after deadly Westminster fire

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WESTMINSTER, Colo. -- A service dog was found alive and unharmed after being inside an apartment unit nearly seven hours after a deadly fire broke out at a Westminster apartment complex on Sunday.

Kush's owner is a double amputee and his owner's daughter, Ashley Barring, says 5-year-old Kush started scratching at her mother to wake her up when the fire started.

She was able to get out of her bottom floor unit safely but was taken to the hospital.

Kush remained inside the unit for nearly seven hours before crews were able to get him out of the wreckage.

"I woke up to the news that my mother was in the hospital -- she was worried about [Kush]," Barring said.

"He was in the fire for the last seven hours. They were putting it out when I first showed up and they didn't want to go in because they were scared it was going to collapse."

About 9:30 a.m., firefighters were able to break the window and get Kush out.

"They broke the bedroom window and found him sitting on her bed waiting for her," Barring said. "This dog has been there with her through everything. He's her best friend.

"I definitely thought the worst. I hope for the best, but I never thought he would still be OK."

Two people died after the fire broke out at the Westbury Apartments about 2:15 a.m. Sunday. Nine other people, including Kush's owner, remain hospitalized but their conditions are unknown.

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