'He died a hero': Cookie the cockatiel dies in house fire after saving teenager from bedroom blazeBen Rees, 17, was alerted to a fire in his bedroom by his pet cockatielThe fire started when Ben lit an incense stick but went off for a showerThe bird squawked and flapped his wings to alert Ben to the blazeThe teenager was able to escape thanks to Cookie's actions
11:48 GMT, 7 February 2013
16:08 GMT, 7 February 2013
A pet parrot has been lauded as a hero after he died saving his teenage owner from a house fire.
Cookie the cockatiel flew to the bathroom to alert Ben Rees, 17, that a fire had broken out in his bedroom by squawking and 'dive-bombing' him.
Thanks to the bird, Ben managed to escape the blaze and call for help.
But sadly, Cookie didn't get out in time and perished in the fire in Llanelli, South Wales.
Brave: Cookie the cockatiel has been described as a hero after he alerted his owner Ben Rees to a fire in his bedroom and saved his life
Grateful: Vicky Rees, pictured in front of the family home (right),
believes that her son Ben, left, may have died if it wasn't for his pet
Ben's mother Vicky Rees, 48, said: 'He was Ben's guardian angel – he's a hero and he died a hero.
'Cookie sensed danger and seemed to know that Ben hadn't realised his bedroom was on fire.
'If he hadn't squawked and flapped like that I'm sure Ben would have died in there too.'
Ben was home alone when he lit an incense stick in his bedroom and went to have a shower.
But burning embers from the incense set fire to the teenager's bed and the flames began to engulf his bedroom.
Thankfully, Cookie, whose perch was in Ben's bedroom, was alarmed by the smoke and began squawking loudly.
Alarmed: Cookie began flapping his wings and squawking loudly when fire broke out in his owner's bedroom in Llanelli, South Wales
He then flew into the bathroom and repeatedly 'dive-bombed' his owner who realised that something was wrong.
Although bricklaying and plastering student Ben tried to put some previous fire safety training into action, he was unable to put out the flames and fled the house.
He was given oxygen by firefighters at the scene and treated for shock.
Fire crews managed to stop the flames from spreading throughout the family home.
Ben's mother Vicky added: 'Thank goodness Cookie went to look for Ben – a few moments longer and he would have been trapped in the bathroom.
'It is so sad that Cookie didn't make it out alive – we will never forget what he did.'
The bird was buried by the grateful family today in the garden of their home.
Ben said: 'I'm heartbroken at losing my pet – he saved my life.'