Dog rescued from deadly house fire gets second chance at life

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JULIETTE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)– Dog owners have probably wondered at times what their pet is thinking. We can see an expression or a tail wag, but otherwise, there no hints as to what they are thinking.

The owners of ‘Marsha’ say they wonder the same most of the time.

Marsha became the sole survivor of a deadly house fire on January 5. The fire claimed the life of her owner, 44-year-old John Stafford.

“If she could talk, boy what she could tell,” said Candace Bridgers.

Marsha was trapped inside the house and suffered smoke inhalation before officers and animal control rescued her. Carlos Santillan, the Animal Control Officer who responded to the fire, says it’s amazing Marsha survived.

“I’m not sure how long she was in the house. I am surprised and happy she was able to get out,” Santillan stated.

Stafford’s 3-year-old son John Wesley, and his Aunt Candace Bridgers, take care of Marsha now. Bridgers says although John passed away, Marsha carries his spirit.

“The Lord lets us have glimpses of those that have passed on. I see it in John Wesley and I see the love come through her that John had for everybody. She loves people and so did he,”

Although Marsha can’t speak, her family knows she’s thankful to be home.

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Peyton Lewis is a 20-year-old reporter from Stockbridge, Georgia. She graduated in December of 2019 with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia. She found a love for reporting after receiving a video camera for her 8th birthday. She and her friends would make mock newscasts in her backyard other creative content. Peyton's love for writing and creating videos pushed her to pursue journalism. In order to kick-start her dream of being a reporter, she left the traditional high school experience at the age of 16 to attend Gordon State College as a full-time student. She graduated with her Associate's degree two weeks before graduating from high school. Previously, Peyton worked as a news intern for 11 Alive in Atlanta, a radio intern for the Joy FM, and a reporter/ technical manager for Grady Newsource. Peyton dreams to become an investigative reporter that leaves a lasting impact on the world around her. She loves Disney, dogs, spicy food, musicals, and her family. Peyton also enjoys reading, watching movies, cheering on the Dawgs, and going on new adventures.