FRISCO, Texas — Megan Black has a lot to be thankful for: her family, her house in Frisco, her excellent home security system and perhaps most of all, a neighbor willing to put her life on the line.
All of that magnified by her dog's apparent ability to turn on the gas stovetop and set the house on fire.
It started as a peaceful Christmas morning. Megan was 20 miles away, gathered with other members of her family to open presents on Christmas Day. But, with Christmas music playing on a sound system back at home to keep her two dogs Asher and Twitch company, Megan's home security system was recording a very unusual chain of events.
"She just wanted cookies," Megan laughed. "I blame myself for not checking the gates. And like, you know, she's just a dog."
Twitch, her 3-and-a-half-year-old rescue, can be seen on Ring cameras standing on her hind legs in the kitchen, pawing at a pan and Tupperware sitting on the stovetop. Megan says they held cookies and leftover cinnamon rolls from their morning breakfast.
"And she just pushed so perfectly on the knob, pushed and turned and lit that middle burner."
Minutes later, Megan Black got an alert on her phone that the smoke alarms were going off at her house. So she called next door neighbor Cissy Blaisure to go investigate. She found the Tupperware and the cabinets on fire and the house filling with thick smoke.
"I just looked over and saw the flames coming up from the stove and I was like, oh my God, this house is on fire," Blaisure said.
"I'm watching it in real-time," Megan Black said of the images she was watching on her phone. "And I can't do anything about it. It was like the most helpless feeling ever."
Blaisure led both dogs outside into the backyard. But they both came right back through the doggy door to be at her side. The touchless kitchen faucet was the next problem. She had Megan on the phone trying to troubleshoot that.
"And then I asked her how to get your sink on and she was like just touch it. And I'm just like come on, come on, come on," Blaisure said.
But she did get the faucet to work and, four pots of water later, the fire was out. The house, and the dogs, were saved.
"And I was like Cissy they're telling you you have to get out of the house," Megan said of firefighters who were on the line with another member of her family.
"And I'm like, I'm not getting out. I almost have it," Blaisure said. "It was just help, fight once I got in here and do what I could. Because that's what I would want somebody to do."
"An absolute hero, an angel," Black said.
With air purifiers purring, and the house emptied, repairs to the kitchen and mitigating smoke damage to the entire two-story house might take as long as four months. But Megan is just thankful that the house still stands, the dogs are safe and that she has the very best of next-door neighbors.
"I just keep telling her how thankful I am. I don't think you can say thank you enough," she said. "I mean she saved my house."
And a very curious and hungry dog, she saved her too.
And Megan's penchant for having cookies available is not an accident. She has her own business called Black Flour Bakery which, for the next several months at least, will be cooking up cakes and cookies and other treats from a temporary location in Celina.