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Young Dog Alerts Family to Early Morning Blaze

A Peachtree Corners family is safe thanks to the persistent barking of a 5-month old puppy who awoke a father of five; the family escaped safely along with two cats in the early morning fire.

A fire that began in the garage of a Peachtree Corners home, destroyed a vehicle and caused heavy damage to the garage.
A fire that began in the garage of a Peachtree Corners home, destroyed a vehicle and caused heavy damage to the garage.
An early Sunday morning blaze caused extensive damage to a Peachtree Corners home but thanks to the family's young dog the family of seven are unharmed.

Firefighters were called at 4:20 a.m. to the 5500 block of Patrick Court and found the garage engulfed in flames.

It was the persistent barking of the family's young dog that awoke the father of five early Sunday morning to discover fire had broken out.

The man got up to quiet the 5-month-old puppy when he heard a noise coming from the garage of their two-story home. When he opened the door to the garage he discovered flames coming from a car parked inside.

"He opened the door from the kitchen and was immediately met with smoke and heat conditions," said Captain Tommy Rutledge, spokesman for the Gwinnett Fire Department. He said the man then gathered his family and all seven family members and escaped unharmed.  

The puppy was unharmed. Firefighters also rescued two family cats who were not injured.

Rutledge said firefighters found "intense flames and heat from a vehicle" parked in the garage. The fire had spread to the attic directly above the garage before fighters brought the blaze under control.

“Fire crews did a great job of preventing this fire from spreading throughout the rest of the house,” said Gwinnett Fire Captain Tommy Rutledge. 

Rutledge said "the blaze caused extensive damage to the garage and attic and severe damage to the exterior portion of the vehicle in the garage."

Firefighters helped the family salvage Christmas gifts that were inside the damaged vehicle.

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. 

Equipment at the scene:
  • 3-Engines
  • 1-Ladder Truck
  • 1-Squad
  • 1-Medic Unit
  • 1-Air & Light Unit
  • 2-Battalion Chiefs
  • 1-Fire Investigator
  • 1-PIO

Marisant December 15, 2013 at 12:15 PM
I'm so happy everyone is safe! Their little 5 month old puppy is a hero!!! Let's us know if we can help them out!
Robert J. Nebel December 15, 2013 at 12:26 PM
Kudos to the family pet and the awesome rescue workers-you are all heroes!
ML December 15, 2013 at 01:52 PM
Was it a ford ..they are notorious. If so call an atty first. And don't move the car. So glad everyone is ok. Happened to us but luckily that night our ford was in the driveway.
Judy Putnam (Editor) December 15, 2013 at 03:16 PM
I don't know the make of the car, I stopped by to take photos this afternoon, but the vehicle was so heavily damaged I could not identify it.
Mark Hansens December 15, 2013 at 10:24 PM
The car was a Buick Rendezvous, but not likely to be the cause of the fire.
Jimmy December 16, 2013 at 05:05 PM
Very happy to hear that everybody made it out safely, including the pets. Apparently the only injury was suffered by ML, who must have sprained something jumping to conclusions.
ML December 16, 2013 at 09:03 PM
Actually Jimbo I was asking the same question the firefighter asked when they arrived at our home to find our vehicle fully engulfed " Let me guess, another ford?" . There has been millions of dollars in property lost to these fires and a number of lives lost too. Not a cute comment type of situation. We were simply shareing advice from our similar albeit less traumatic experience because of the location of our truck. Not knowing the make of the vehicle but hearing the similar description of the intense flames we only asked and made no assumptions.
Adam Bruso December 17, 2013 at 08:10 AM
For more information or if you feel lead to help out the family you can visit https://www.facebook.com/hansensrecovery
Terri Brunson December 17, 2013 at 02:30 PM
Furkids and its director, Samantha Shelton, rescued the family's four cats and are taking care of them at its no kill animal shelter in Doraville!
Marisant December 17, 2013 at 06:53 PM
Furkids are an amazing rescue! thanks for helping out with the kitttes!

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