As of Monday, October 10, 2011
© Copyright 2013
Gwinnett Daily Post
By Frank Reddy
LAWRENCEVILLE — Firefighters have discovered a four-legged hero.
A Lawrenceville family escaped safely from their burning home early Sunday after hearing their pit bull-mix barking at the sight of flames.
Gwinnett County Fire Capt. Tommy Rutledge said everyone at the 300 block of Shire Way escaped without injury thanks to “the family’s guardian.”
“The dog was doing what it could do to protect the family,” Rutledge said. “When you have a family pet, they’ll often take on that role of protector.”
Rutledge said the family’s home suffered extensive damage. He said a parent and child were awoken to the blaze inside the two-story home. Smoke alarms had not yet activated because most of the flames were outside and in the attic.
He said firefighters believe the blaze started on the back deck.
The firefighters were dispatched at 4:20 a.m. and had the fire under control by 4:59 a.m.
“We are fortunate that an alert canine was able to warn the sleeping occupants,” Rutledge said.
“No doubt, that dog is a hero to that family,” he said. “Because the canine was able to alert them even sooner than the smoke alarms … it bought them some time.”
An investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.