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Classroom's fish saves it from flames

Published Aug. 27, 2005

A smoke alarm summoned firefighters to a school in the middle of the night, but when they arrived the flames already had been put out. Dory took care of it.

Dory is a fish, a Betta kept in a vase on a desk in a third-grade classroom at Trinity Lone Oak Lutheran School.

A forgotten candle started a small fire on the desk on Jan. 24, setting off the smoke alarm and shattering the fish bowl, spilling enough water to put out the flames.

Firefighters found a few embers still glowing on the desk _ and Dory still alive in a puddle.

"It was certainly looking distinctly unhappy," firefighter Al Taylor said of the little fish.

Firefighters put Dory in a new container, and now the children in the class are excited about their little hero, said teacher Linda Krienke.

"Each of them wrote a story from the fish's point of view, how his Friday night went," she said.

The room was heavily damaged by smoke, so the students and their little mascot were moved to the school music room.

Dory, named for the sidekick who helps find a kidnapped fish in the movie Finding Nemo, is "quite a survivor," Krienke said.