Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
NEW ORLEANS -- A New Orleans woman nearly lost her life in a devastating house fire just before Christmas.
Maryflynn Thomas credits her Chihuahua named Buttercup for saving her life.
"I would not be talking here right now if it weren't for this sweet little, smart little girl," said Thomas while holding her 3-year-old dog.
While Thomas slept, flames and thick smoke started to fill her 105-year-old Uptown home.
"I'm sleeping away and this little 7 pound little girl kept ramming and slamming her whole body into my face over and over and over again," Thomas said.
Buttercup refused to give up, pushing and prodding until Maryflynn's eyes flew open.
"In black smoke you can't even see your hand in front of your face. I kind of brailed my way to the door that's over there and I opened the locks and stepped out onto the balcony," said Thomas.
Firefighters rescued Thomas and her Boston terrier Lola from the balcony. However, a skittish Buttercup dashed back into the house. The fire department would find her hours later cowering under a mattress.
"He sent the firemen back in and they flipped the bed, and this one was in a little air pocket alive and well. The little Buttercup made it because she's so small," Thomas said, smiling at her four-legged friend.
Weeks after the inferno, Thomas gets emotional surveying the damage.
"Things like family albums and the portraits of your grandmother. Those are the things that go away, and of course, you can't get them back," Thomas said.
Decades of precious memories along with a personal library of sheet music with some 400 songs are all gone.
"That laying there is my beautiful piano, laying there where we use to have rehearsals," said Thomas.
On Tuesday night, her friends performed at Mojito's on Frenchmen Street as part of a fundraiser to get the fellow musician back on her feet.
"Mary is our heart and soul. She is such a dear. We just had to come together for her and help her out," said Leslie Cooper with New Orleans Women In Music.
A helping hand for a dear friend and gratitude for a little hero who refused to give up.
"We would not have Ms. Maryflynn if not for Buttercup," said Cooper at the benefit. Those words met with applause from the audience.
Thomas spent a few days in the hospital and is staying with friends for now. She is working with her insurance company and hopes to move back into her house.
If you'd like to help Thomas out contact New Orleans Women In Music by clicking here.