• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Pit bull gets hero award for saving family from fire

May 4, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A dog overcame flames, smoke and her breed's reputation to become a hero.

Diamond, a 15-month-old pit bull, was presented Wednesday with the 29th National Dog Hero Award by the Los Angeles SPCA.

When her owner's Hayward apartment caught fire, Diamond's barking woke up Darryl Steen, who got his 9-year-old daughter out right away.

Diamond had jumped on top of Steen's 16-year-old daughter, who passed out in her bedroom. She wouldn't move until the teen had been rescued. Both of them suffered smoke inhalation, but they recovered.

Steen said he'll never forget it.

"When something like that happens, and you almost lose everything...I take nothing for granted, and I owe it all to this dog," said Steen.

Diamond got a plaque and a year's supply of dog food.

Steen hopes her heroism will change some people's minds about pit bulls.