MIDVALE -- The keen ears of a German Shepherd dog named Ashleigh saved the life of a former Newcomerstown resident and her family.

The home of Candy Quillin, of Midvale and formerly of Newcomerstown, caught fire on New Year's Eve morning (Dec. 31, 2008) at 5:20 a.m. The family's faithful dog heard the crackling of the fire and awoke Candy and her boyfriend, Bill Skinner. Luckily, their 9-year old son, Reed, was not at home at the time of the fire and was staying with other family.

The fire has been designated as "undetermined" by the State Fire Marshal's office.

"Neighbors have really pitched in and helped out," Diane Throckmorton, Candy's mother, told the Newcomerstown News. "There's good people out there."

The out-pouring of support has been tremendous.

McComb's Store in Midvale has a collection can that is constantly being emptied to support the family. Neighbors of the family have donated clothing, blankets, cleaning supplies, etc.

The Midvale Chief of Police even purchased four outfits and toys for Reed.

Bags of new clothes are coming from Quillin's uncle's church (Throckmorton's brother) in Columbus.

Reed's neighborhood friend even gave him his new bicycle that he had received from Santa only days earlier.

The American Red Cross did present the family with a voucher for food, however, they did not have a stove or refrigerator as they are staying in a rental property down the street from the fire. (Thankfully, the landlord is allowing to stay rent free.) But, money was collected and a refurbished refrigerator and stove was purchased from a store in New Philadelphia where the store owner decided not to charge sales tax for the items.

Sadly, Ashley's puppy, Bayleigh, was tied to the garage outside and perished in the fire.

Also, Skinner's trailer, that he was working on as he is an over-the-road truck driver, was also destroyed in the fire. He is self-employed and uses the trailer to haul items for work. Now, he must find a new trailer before he can return to his job.

To make a donation to the family, call Diane Throckmorton at Cameo Styling Salon in Newcomerstown at 498-7337.