Avian Expert Articles

Parrot Yells “Fire!” To Save Family

conureHeroes come in all shapes, sizes, and species. Usually, humans get all of the attention. But once in a while, an obvious case of strange and selfless reality appears that’s not from a human. This is the story of Louie the parrot, who on a fateful early morning when his family was sound asleep, screeched “FIRE” repeatedly and frantically. His screeches alerted the family of three to a fiery danger. The amazing thing about Louie is that the family says, to their knowledge, the parrot had never learned or uttered the word before. Regardless of how he learned to use it in a time absolutely necessary for the family’s survival, Louie’s intervention saved their lives even as he lost his in the blaze.

The Deadly Fire

On February 3, 2020, Larry and Barbara Klein of Lebanon, Tennessee, and their young granddaughter were asleep when Louie woke them. A fire started in the kitchen and spread to the living room. Mr. Klein attempted to extinguish the fire but was unsuccessful. With his wife and granddaughter evacuated, Larry Klein returned to save his four dogs and two birds but was too late. The animals were tragically lost in the blaze.

As a result of returning to the house in his attempt to save the animals, Mr. Klein suffered severe smoke inhalation and incurred minor burns. He was put into a medical coma to be treated. The house was completely engulfed by the blaze with all belongings destroyed.

The community came together for the family. Many offered clothing while one person rented an apartment for three months as a base to help the family get back on their feet. The person who rented the apartment also gifted the Kleins with a new 2-month-old baby parrot. The Kleins named the parrot Louie Jr. in memory of the bird that literally saved their lives.

A Hero Parrot

Louie is hailed as “a true hero” by Barbara Klein. She states that it’s likely they would not have awoken to the dangers of the rapidly spreading fire if it were not for the repeated warnings squawked by Louie. For the rest of us, Louie is definitely a hero. We will never know the circumstance surrounding his acquisition of the word “fire,” but it matters not. The fact is that Louie saved his caretakers from likely death. For that, Louie deserves every headline that hailed his heroic action for the family.

A GoFundMe page was set up for the Kleins. As of this writing, the fund is at $6,800 of a $7,500 goal. As a warning, all homes should be equipped with a smoke alarm and a fire extinguisher, with each member of the house familiar with its proper use.

6 thoughts on “Parrot Yells “Fire!” To Save Family

  1. lucky for you all Louie saved your lives too bad he didn’t make it but he is a true hero

  2. Louie truely is a hero! Something similar happened to a parrot rescue last year September. The birds yelling and screeching woke their caretakers, and enabled them to exit the burning house with minor burns, everything lost, including about 100 of the 150 parrots that was being taken care of. It was devastating for everyone involved because all the birds had a history to tell. But they offered their lives for the lives of their caretakers.

  3. This little bird was intelligent and saved these peoples’ lives and in return was burned alive. Because this family could not be bothered to put in smoke detectors all the pets lost their lives they should be charged with animal neglect and cruelty. Why would anyone give them another poor animal?

  4. I agree 100% with the comment about the lack of smoke detectors. This story is tragic, because the loss of life of those poor animals could have been avoided if there was a working smoke detector in that place. SHAME ON THOSE PEOPLE. They don’t deserve anyone’s sympathy or money and they certainly don’t deserve another animal. I agree, they should be prosecuted for animal neglect/cruelty – only because there are no laws against massive stupidity.

  5. Avian respiratory systems are so fragile that they probably would not have survived anyway. This is a sad reminder to all pet guardians to be sure to include your animals in any evacuation/safety procedures you have in place.

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