GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - A five-month old puppy is being hailed a hero after alerting a sleeping family of seven of an early morning house fire.
According to Gwinnett County firefighters, the family was in bed asleep in their home in Peachtree Corners when the puppy began barking. The persistent barking woke the father, who checked to see what was wrong. As the man quieted the puppy, he heard a noise coming from the garage. He opened the door from the kitchen and was immediately met with smoke and heat. The man then gathered his family and all escaped unharmed. They were outside safe when the fire department arrived and no injuries were reported.
Firefighters found flames showing from the garage of the two-story wood frame house on arrival. The fire extended to the attic directly above the attached garage before being brought under control. Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the garage.
“Fire crews did a great job of preventing this fire from spreading throughout the rest of the house,” said Gwinnett Fire Captain Tommy Rutledge.
The blaze caused extensive damage to the garage and attic and severe damage to the exterior portion of the vehicle in the garage. Firefighters found two cats safe within the home and brought them out to the family. They also helped the family salvage Christmas gifts that were inside the damaged vehicle.
The exact cause of the fire is currently undetermined, but appears accidental in nature.
Fire officials said the home was equipped with a smoke alarm, however they did not initially sound because there was no smoke inside the living areas of the home. According to the father, there was no sign of smoke or fire in the home when he woke to the puppy barking.
“The occupants are safe, because of an alert family pet. It is not uncommon to hear about household pets who alert people to danger,” Rutledge said.