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Hero dog saves young Irish boy trapped in tumble dryer

Teddy and Riley Gedge-Duffy
Teddy and Riley Gedge-Duffy

A father has told how the family's pet dog saved their son after he became trapped in a tumble dryer.

Riley Gedge-Duffy, five, suffered burns to his arms, back and head when the machine automatically started with the boy, who has Down's syndrome, stuck inside.

Aaron Duffy said his wife, who was vacuuming at the time, only knew something was wrong when their dog, Teddy - a cockapoo, began to bark.

He said: "My son Riley trapped himself inside the tumble dryer and when he closed the door, the tumble dryer automatically started.

"My wife was upstairs Hoovering, my other son was watching TV and the dog alerted my wife that something was up.

"They went downstairs and he was going round and round the tumble dryer."

The accident happened at the family home in Co Down, Northern Ireland, on Sunday.

HERO: Teddy 

Riley was rushed to the Ulster Hospital, Dundonald, and is currently receiving treatment.

A hospital spokeswoman has described his condition as "comfortable".

Mr Duffy contacted U105 Radio station on Monday to warn other parents of the dangers posed by tumble dryers and to thank ambulance and medical staff for their swift response.

He added: "Riley was born with Down's syndrome so he likes to take himself off and do his own thing.

"He is a loveable wee character, does his own thing and is always smiling.

"He is forever hiding in the wardrobe or he has often taken himself off into the dog run in the garden to hide.

"But, what concerns me was the tumble dryer - our one, when you close the door, it automatically goes. I just want to make other families with young children aware of what can happen.

"The ambulance driver said normally children would suffocate and die.

"Only for the dog reacting, my wife would not have known something was up."

It is the second time Teddy has raised the alarm in the last two months.

"The dog alerted us before that an iPhone charger was catching fire."

Meanwhile, in a Facebook post, the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service described the incident as "horrific" and said crews were on the scene within six minutes.

"Today, Riley is back to his old self and we will maybe get him a wee visit to the station next week," NIAS said.