Deaf Couple Who Escaped House Fire: Their Story

March 16, 2017



On Monday I reported about a house fire in Maryland — a deaf married couple lived in it and barely got out before the fire engulfed one side of the house. 


The wife, Valerie DimitrijeVic, posted a vlog on her page that described what happened. It is a very touching story and I will share clips from her video. 


Before I share, I want to say my report on Monday was based on a local news article, which had some errors - and I will make some clarifications now. 


First — the Deaf couple are not the homeowners but lived there. Valerie’s husband’s name is Radisa. Their dog is not a service dog but a “normal pet.” They have three kids: two teenagers and a younger daughter, who was in the house at the time of the fire and escaped with the parents. The fire was on Sunday night. 


Here is the vlog (by Valerie): 




Valerie: I just want to summarize what happened with the house fire. 


[Video of back of home burning]


I was inside the kitchen, cooking. My dog was with us. My daughter was upstairs taking a nap.


[Image of GraceJo] 


The whole time I was in the kitchen, the dog was acting crazy. I thought he was just playing around.


[Image of Australian Cattle dog/Blue Heeler — Killian] 


The dog was nudging against the back of my knees. I didn’t understand why — and thought it might be someone knocking on the door, but there was nobody there. The dog kept on barking and I looked up to see the smoke detector beeping. I knew it because I could smell it, but I couldn’t figure it out. I thought it might be the stove, but there was no smoke coming out of it. I then looked at the window — that time, my husband was gone, I couldn’t find him. 


[Image of Valerie with her husband Radisa and dog Killian] 


I looked out and saw smoke rising slowly. I immediately thought of those who were inside — my daughter, my husband, myself, my dog, two cats, and four goats in the garage. I ran out to the back porch to look at why the smoke was rising, since there was a propane tank there. There was a fire there. In the basement, but I knew my (older) daughter was not there — she went out. 


I immediately went back inside and my dog was still running around. I opened the door that leads to the basement and smoke just came out and went down my throat. I shut the door and screamed, “FIRE!” My (younger) daughter heard it and ran out of the house. The dog was still pushing me, and before I didn’t understand why, but now I knew — it was trying to get me out of the house. 


I then went to the garage to release my goats —


[Image of two goats] 


They were temporarily staying in the garage. I let them out to go to the outside pen. I looked back to the house and saw my daughter outside at the front of the house and my husband outside at the back of the house.  


The fire was just raging. When I was inside, the fire was at the basement. But by the time I was outside, it had already reached the third floor. Then the ambulance and fire trucks came — they got here after around 15-20 minutes. 


[Video of fire blazing at back of house with firefighters putting it out with hoses. GraceJo is in the video near to the goats and the dog. She looks to the camera and signs something.]


We found out one cat died. We couldn’t find the second one, until the day later, we found the second one. 


[Image of two orange/white cats lying next to each other]


My husband and I went to the hospital because of smoke inhalation. We got out of the hospital after around 7 hours, we were fine. When we came back to see the house, it was unlivable. 


Nobody was at the home during the fire, so that’s a relief. I was thinking to myself, “God was protecting us. He used my dog.” My dog. 


[Valerie calls Killian to come up on her lap. She pets him and says he is a hero. She pets and kisses him.]


He is definitely a hero. If not for him, things would be a lot worse. So, now — we lost everything. Everything. People have brought us some clothes. We trust God for [everything]. Our expectation is from God. Thank you for watching. I love you. 




Alex: Wow, that is scary, that fire. Valerie added more details — when Valerie got out of the house to let the goats out, she saw his husband outside turning off the propane tank. Then he went back inside of the house to check if the other two older kids were inside. When he opened the older daughter (who was not home)’s bedroom — he said it was like hell — completely black with fire on the walls and ceiling, full of smoke. He went into the basement to check if the son was there — but fortunately he was not home. 


The cause of the fire was electrical wires — something with the wires caused the fire. 


It is very sad to see the impact a fire has on the family — with them losing their two cats and everything inside of the home. They say their insurance covers them, but they need help with food and clothes. They have set up a GoFundMe page, you can help them at the link below.


GoFundMe Page:

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