By Chris Metinko For Oakland Tribune

CASTRO VALLEY — More than a month after a devastating fire destroyed his family’s apartment, Darryl Steen finally was reunited Wednesday with the pit bull responsible for saving his life and the lives of his two daughters.

“I owe her everything,” said Steen, as he played with Diamond, the gray and white 1-year-old canine at the Eden Pet Hospital. “She’s a heck of a dog — a heck of a dog.”

Steen can vividly recall the details of the last time he saw Diamond. That was about 1:30 a.m. Oct. 24, when dog began barking.

“She almost never barks, so I knew something was wrong,” said the 40-year-old Hayward resident.

There was.

Steen’s apartment was on fire, and he and his two daughters were in danger.

“I woke up when I heard her barking and could smell something, but I wasn’t sure what,” Steen remembered. “I opened my bedroom door and then I knew what it was.”

Steen saw his living room ablaze as fire raged through his apartment near Mission Boulevard.

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