A guitar player who has worked with artists including Outkast and TLC is lucky to be alive after narrowly escaping a house fire just before Christmas.
Ed Stroud was asleep on the night of 20 December (16), when his pet poodle Gracie woke him up by licking his face and alerted him to the blaze, which had engulfed his Atlanta, Georgia home.
He managed to make a run for the back door, but collapsed once he stepped outside. Luckily, firefighters came to his rescue and helped to get him to safety after hearing Gracie bark.
Stroud, who remains hospitalised, has since credited his pet pooch with saving his life and he tells local news station Channel 2 Action News that although he suffered second-degree burns to his face and arms, his hands were not injured.
"With me being a guitar player I need my hands," Stroud said. "This my money maker right here."
The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.
Stroud's manager, Katherine Williams, is planning to stage a benefit concert for the musician on 10 January (17) to help raise funds to aid his recovery and rebuild his home.