A dog rescued from a shelter returned the favor Sunday night by rescuing the man who adopted her.

Mitchell MacArthur Jr. was asleep in his bedroom in his Fairfield home with the door closed just before midnight when Sabrina, his 3-year-old tan-and-white pit bull, started running in circles and howling.

“I shushed her. I thought she just wanted to go out,” MacArthur, 28, said Monday evening. “She started nibbling at my clothing.”

After a few minutes, MacArthur gave in. When he opened his bedroom door, he found the house was engulfed in smoke. He and Sabrina headed out through the kitchen of the single-story home at 7 Somerset Ave. Going through the living room was not an option because he had about 300 rounds of ammunition in the living room that was going off in the fire.

“She ran out first and spun around and made sure I was behind her,” he said.

Duane Bickford, chief of Fairfield and Benton Fire and Rescue, said the fire left the home uninhabitable. The cause of the fire remains under investigation but does not appear to be suspicious, Bickford said.

The fire drew firefighters from Waterville, Winslow and Oakland to the fire scene and Albion Fire-Rescue covered the Fairfield station.

The home is owned by Mitchell MacArthur Jr.’s father, and Bickford said it is insured.

Melinda MacArthur said via Twitter on Monday evening that the home is where she and her brother Mitchell grew up.

“It was our childhood home, so it’s kind of a hard time for us all. We’re just thankful they got out OK. They’re most important,” she said.

Mitchell MacArthur said Sabrina has never acted that way before. He said she’s a mellow dog and is the guardian for his two sons.

“When we got Sabrina, I didn’t know if I really wanted her,” he said.

But his then-girlfiend Kassie, and their sons, Logan and Owen, wanted her. When they first saw Sabrina at the shelter about a year ago, she was barking, but when the dog spotted them, he said she calmed down.

“It was a connection, as weird as it sounds,” he said.

Now, he said, they have an unbreakable bond.

“She’s a mellow dog and man’s best friend. She’s definitely the reason I am here.”

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm

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