A Wisconsin couple's pet chicken is being hailed as a hero after it alerted them to a fire that ultimately burned their entire house down.
WEAU reports that the chicken, which was adopted as a pet and cared for by the unidentified man and woman, returned the favor by waking the sleeping couple when a fire broke out in their home in Alma Center, Wisconsin around 6:15 a.m. on Thursday.
The smoke detectors in the couple's burning home weren't functioning, but luckily for them the clever bird sensed something was horribly wrong and clucked up a commotion that woke them up.
"[The woman] said she heard the commotion of the chicken," neighbor Brad Krueger, who originally owned the chicken, told WEAU. "I've heard animals waking people up, but never a chicken."
One of the couple's cats was also making a lot of noise, helping to alert them of the danger at hand. Sadly, they had two cats, one of which died in the inferno that completely destroyed the home.
Alma Center Fire Chief Jeff Gaede told WEAU that he could see the orange glow of the fire from halfway across town. Gaede said he was "surprised" at how the couple escaped the blaze.
"I guess at first I was really amazed, we've never run into a chicken before," he said. "You always run into a dog or cat or something."
The couple reportedly adopted the chicken from Krueger after the bird was constantly harassed by dogs that would chase it around his farm.
"The chicken wandered over and finally they adopted it," Krueger said.
Chickens and rescues don't always go so well together, though. In 1995, six members of an Egyptian family died while attempting to save a chicken that had fallen into a well. A farmer descended into the well and drowned, as did five of his relatives who tried to save him. The chicken was later pulled from the well-- alive. The tragicomic tale gained international prominence after it won runner-up in the annual Darwin Awards, which "commemorate those who improve our gene pool by removing themselves from it."