It’s not a usual custom to get teary-eyed during a town hall meeting, but that is exactly what happened at the Windham Town Council meeting on Tuesday, May 9 when the Windham Fire/Rescue and Police Departments presented an award to the Matthew Estes Family in honor of their dog, Caribou.
A year ago, on the night of May 10, 2016 while Estes and his son Kyle and daughter Grace were sleeping, a fire broke out on the first floor of their home. Caribou, the family lab mix alerted Estes by making an unfamiliar barking sound and waking him up. It was at that point Estes became aware the downstairs was engulfed in flames.
The fact that Caribou alerted Estes gave him the few extra lifesaving minutes needed to get his daughter and son out of the house safely. “It turns out my son was already outside,” Estes said. “We had talked about where we should meet in an emergency and I found him there.”
If it wasn’t for Caribou,” Estes continued, but then trailed off into thought. “He saved our lives.”
In doing so, Caribou lost his life. To pay their respect, Fire Chief Brent Libby and Police Officer Bill Andrews presented the “Life Saving Recognition” plaque to the family in honor of the selfless
The last paragraph on the plaque states, “This award is presented in memory of Caribou for his action that saved human lives. His heroic action and sacrifice will be remembered.”