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Dublin: 5°C Tuesday 25 January 2022
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Hero dog helps to save five-year-old trapped in tumble dryer

Teddy the dog alerted Riley’s mother that he was in danger, after the boy became trapped in a tumble dryer.

Riley's father with Teddy the dog
Riley's father with Teddy the dog

A FIVE-YEAR old who became trapped in a tumble dryer at his home in Bangor, Co. Down, was rescued with the aid of the family dog, Teddy, who alerted the boy’s mother that he was in danger.

Riley Gedge-Duffy became trapped after the door closed on the dryer, which automatically turned on.

Teddy, however, managed to raise the alarm to Riley’s mother, who was vacuuming in another room, by barking loudly to notify her that something was wrong.

His father, Aaron Duffy, told BBC’s Good Morning Ulster: “The ambulance man says that another couple of minutes probably would have killed him.”

After the family called an ambulance, Riley was rushed to Ulster Hospital, Dundonald, where he was treated for burns to his arms, back and head.

His father said that Riley, who has Down syndrome, is now on the mend. “He’s doing very well,” he said. “He’s up, he’s eating, he’s smiling. He’s the same old Riley.”

The setting on the tumble dryer means that once it is closed, it automatically turns on, and Aaron believes that Riley was extremely fortunate: “The risks are there. We’re one of the lucky ones who caught it in time.”

A spokesperson from the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service Health and Social Care Trust told TheJournal.ie that such an incident was “extremely rare” and indicated that if Riley had been in there a few more minutes, his injuries could have been far more severe.

This was not the first time that the two-year-old female cockapoo, a cross-breed mix between a poodle and a cocker spaniel, stepped in to alert the family that there was something wrong.

The father added: “The dog notified us before of an incident about to happen in the house. A phone charger was overheating and was catching fire. Only for the dog’s reactions on that day did my wife realise something was wrong this time.”

The family hope that Riley will be cleared to return home from hospital in the coming days.

As for Teddy, Aaron told RTE: “[He'll] be getting a fillet steak.”

Read: Two dogs ‘arrested’ in Finglas after chasing man on bike

Read: Detector dog helps seize 28,000 smuggled cigarettes at Dublin Airport

About the author:

Sean Murray

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