Tippy, the couples' 1-year-old Shih Tzu puppy had survived the fire, the Cleveland (Ohio) Plain-Dealer reported Monday. Paws singed, black and white fur wet and darkened with soot, Tippy shivered while he sat in the charred house on what remained of the Browns' couch.
"There he was, sitting on the couch," said the couples' daughter, Kim Hixenbaugh. "It was so sad, but it was so happy. There was no couch there, there was just a little bit of the couch left."
Hixenbaugh had returned to the home to see what could be salvaged, not expecting to find much.
The Browns had paid off their mortgage only two months earlier, and could not afford home insurance on their home and their car was stolen out of their driveway just before the fire.