The Herald Bulletin

Overnight Update

Cops, courts and fires

January 17, 2014

Dog awakens family in Chesterfield fire

CHESTERFIELD — A family dog is getting credit for saving at least two lives after it woke up a Chesterfield couple whose garage was on fire.

Chesterfield-Union Township Fire Department Chief Jamey Durrows said the dog's barking woke the couple Thursday night. They noticed smoke pouring into their house, on the 1300 block of Timberwood Circle, and got outside unharmed.

Durrows said the blaze, which the fire department responded to at 12:18 a.m. Friday morning, started in the attached garage and spread fast. By the time crews got on the scene, the fire had spread to the roof of the house.

"The fire spread quickly," Durrows said. "But everyone in the house got out safely, and no firefighters were injured either."

Crews went inside the house to fight the fire but were soon pulled out after the roof partially collapsed.

Durrows said the house wasn't considered a total loss but did experience heavy damage. He said the areas that didn't burn had bad smoke and water damage.

"At this point, it's up to the insurance company whether they're going to consider it a total loss," Durrows said.

Durrows said his crews got to the scene seven minutes after they got the call but, because the family used a cell phone, the 911 call originally went to Delaware County dispatch.

Durrows said this happens occasionally because of the close proximity to Interstate 69 and warned people to quickly identify themselves as Madison County residents.

Although investigators know the fire started in the garage, they don't have any idea what started the blaze. Durrows said there are a lot of materials that can start a fire in a garage. The fire is believed to be accidental.

CUTFD was assisted by Richland, Frankton, Salem and Yorktown fire departments at the fire.

The name of the family members living in the house were not available.

Follow Zach Osowski on Twitter @Osowski_THB, or call 640-4847.


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