RAMAPO, N.Y. -- There are all kinds of holiday gifts, but few are better than heroic life-saving moments.
Carole Novick, broker/owner of Carole Novick Realty in Ramapo, is feeling blessed this season thanks to Izzy, her 6-month-old black-and-tan coonhound "grand-dog" whose keen scent averted disaster.
In early December, Novick's son-in-law John Hanzl, who is married to Carole's daughter, Amy, was wrestled from sleep around 5:30 a.m. at their South Boston home. Whining non-stop, Hanzl got out of bed. He thought it was unusual because Izzy, who sleeps beside their bed in a crate, never fusses.
He leashed up the dog and headed down the steps of his turn-of-the-century, three-story brick building. As he descended the stairs, Hanzl got a whiff of gas. "I got a sick feeling in my gut," he said.
By the time he landed on the first floor the smell was pervasive. His heart pounding -- and without a cell phone -- he and Izzy scrambled back upstairs to get his wife out of bed. Then he called 911. Luckily the fire station was only two blocks away.
"We evacuated the building with Izzy and our neighbor’s dog Billy (turns out our neighbors were away for the weekend)," said Hanzl.
Engine #3 arrived promptly but could not find a leak. Hanzl then called the gas company.
"One of the garden hose sized cables that came into the building had rubbed its insulation off, exposing bare wire beneath and the wire was arcing over to the metal panel," explained Hanzl. "It had zapped a finger-sized crater into the box’s cover and the electrical discharge was producing ozone and burned insulation."
"I am thankful my daughter Amy and her husband, John, rescued an adorable coonhound puppy," said Novick."We were together for Thanksgiving to meet our new grand-dog. She's a hero."
Novick says she's all too familiar with gas leak disasters. Both as realtor and as the daughter of an electrical contractor, she's knows how lucky she is Izzy has such a keen sniffer, and her son-in-law reacted swiftly.