Honoring heroes in the family | Kitsap Week

Miss Bean helped save the life of her human mom last summer.  - Contributed photo
Miss Bean helped save the life of her human mom last summer.
— image credit: Contributed photo

Every family is comprised of certain signature personalities. There’s the quiet sibling and the loud one. There’s the artistic family member, the brain, the daddy’s girl, the momma’s boy.

For the Kreifels family of Bremerton, the hero is Chevy, their 3-year-old St. Bernard.

The family and a few friends were asleep during the early morning hours of Feb. 23. Shortly before 5 p.m., they began waking to the sounds of flames and the smell of smoke. Three adults and four children escaped the blaze that would destroy the home. But not everyone made it out.

A family friend — a man in his 30s — remained asleep in an upstairs living room. Outside the home, as the flames grew, the family could hear Chevy inside, barking, trying to wake the man and get him out of the burning building.

When firefighters inspected the charred remains of the house, they found Chevy and the friend. Chevy’s mouth was around the friend’s arm. Until the end, he had attempted to pull the man out of the fire.

Chevy was honored May 31 at the third annual PAWS Spotlight on Community Hero Pets Awards at the Manor House on Bainbridge Island. Proceeds from the awards dinner and benefit auction will help support the work PAWS of Bainbridge Island and North Kitsap does to help find homes for felines.

Other honorees:

Fenway, a golden retriever who brings joy to ill children at Seattle’s Ronald McDonald House.

Robert Pregulman, for his website,, which provides essential dog-friendly information for the Seattle area.

EMTs Caitlyn Burbank and Casey Jo Clifton of Pacific County Fire District No. 3, for saving 10 toy poodles trapped in a house fire.

Miss Bean was another honoree on May 31, for her gallant efforts to save

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