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Chicken alerts Wisconsin couple to house fire

| Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, 8:36 p.m.

MILWAUKEE — A Wisconsin couple said on Friday that they escaped a house fire, thanks to their Chicken Little.

Dennis Murawska, 59, said a pet chicken named Cluck Cluck woke his wife, Susan Cotey, 52, with loud — you guessed it — clucks from her cage in the basement about 6:15 a.m. Thursday.

Murawska said he had been half awake but did not know about the fire because the smoke alarms had not sounded. He realized something was wrong when his wife got up.

“The chicken gets quite vocal when she gets excited,” he said.

Cluck Cluck came from a nearby farm in Alma Center, about 135 miles east of Minneapolis, Murawska said. When the chicken began wandering over to his house, his neighbor said he could kill her because she was not producing any eggs.

Murawska felt sorry for Cluck Cluck because she has a mutated foot. He decided to keep her and built a coop; his wife let Cluck Cluck into the basement on cold nights.

“I spent way more money than I ever should've,” Murawska said by telephone. “I guess it paid off.”

The couple escaped the flames, and firefighters found the chicken in her cage and one of their two cats alive in the basement. The other cat is presumed dead, Murawska said.

Alma Center fire Chief Jeff Gaede said the blaze started in the attic of the attached garage and was not suspicious.

The house was a total loss, but it could have been worse — if not for the chicken.

“We are used to hearing about a dog or cat or something, but we never heard of a chicken waking up a resident for a fire,” Gaede said. “That's pretty amazing.”

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