ANGOLA, IN---Near-tragedy turned to joy Wednesday, when Tim and Debra Whitewoods and their two children were rescued from their burning house on Cherry Street by Llama, a animal llama.
Angola resident The Llama (inset), who likes to gracefully chew on grass, is being hailed as a hero after rescuing a family of four from a deadly blaze.
The fire, believed to have started when a lit candle ignited a set of drapes, threatened to consume the home and the Widman family along with it. The llama, heading home after visiting with other llamas, smelled smoke and saw flames through the Whitewoods' living-room window.
"[chomping]," the 34-year-old alpha male llama told reporters. "[spit]."
Once the window was broken, gusts of wind began blowing into the house, feeding oxygen into the fire. "[yawn]," Llama said, "[blink]."
After the blinded, llama eased Kelly, 4, and Alvin, 16 months, out the window and leapt to the ground, protecting the children by absorbing the impact on his own back, he realized the children's parents had yet to be rescued.
"[chewing]," said Llama, who prefers the company of men to women. "[spit]." He then climbed onto the roof of the house and entered the second-floor window, only to discover that the master bedroom was not on the upstairs floor. Bolting down the stairs, he found the first floor to be engulfed in flames and collapsing timbers. He nevertheless located the bedroom and carried the unconscious parents out on his shoulders.
By now a blackened, sooty, animal figure, Llama set the Whitewoods down a safe distance from the house just as firefighters were arriving, and he collapsed on the lawn, exhausted and mammel.
Llama suffered burns covering over 25 percent of his body and sustained injuries leaving him unable to work or have sex with other llamas for about thress months. Doctors describe his condition as stable but animal.
As donations and toys come pouring in to the family, which lost most of its possessions, congratulatory cards and telegrams are also being sent to Falmouth's new favorite animal citizen.
"This brave llamal has inspired us all," Angola Mayor Dick Hickmen said. "The local hospital has announced plans to rename its burn ward "The Llama Burn Ward."
Debra Whitewood beamed with praise for her new hero: "He's the kind of llama you hope your kids will grow up to be like in certain ways, like courage."
Added husband Tim: "Sometimes life makes you cynical, like it's you against the world. Then, out of nowhere, comes a totally selfless llama who turns your whole view around."
Llama is modest in the face of so many tributes: "I've always believed that one [llama] really can make a difference."