Mar. 24, 2014 11:26 AM
Four roommates escaped the fire that engulfed their Brighton Township home early Sunday morning thanks to a German shepherd.
Chief Michael O’Brian of the Brighton Area Fire Authority said two of the three occupants, who were on the second floor of the Culver Road home, suffered minor cuts from breaking a window in order to jump from the burning home.
“As I piece the timing together, they almost didn’t make it out,” the chief said this morning. “We’re lucky there aren’t four dead people.”
O’Brien said firefighters were working an active fire at a garage on Bauer Road in Genoa Township when the call for the Culver Road structure fire was dispatched.
The fire was called in by a passer-by on his way to work around 4:25 a.m. Sunday. The passer-by saw flames as he traveled Pleasant Valley Road and he initially thought it was a bonfire, but upon closer inspection discovered it was a house fire, O’Brien said.
The passer-by reported that the occupants were walking away from the home and when firefighters arrived on scene the home was fully engulfed.
“Every ounce of that house was on fire,” O’Brien said.
It took firefighters from six departments about an hour to knock down the flames, which caused an estimated $300,000 in damage to the home, its contents and vehicles.
O’Brien said a German shepherd named Tucker, who belongs to one of the home’s occupants, alerted his owner, who was sleeping a lower-level bedroom, to the fire. He said the owner sat up and realized “thick smoke” was above his head.
“He tried to go out his normal way but it was blocked by fire,” the chief explained.
The dog and his owner were able to escape and they ran around the house trying to alert the three roommates, who were sleeping in upstairs bedrooms.
O’Brien said the man began throwing rocks at the windows trying to alert his roommates, and one female roommate had woken up by then and tried leaving through the hallway, but it also was engulfed in flames.
The woman and two other roommates broke an upstairs window and fled the burning home with only what they were wearing, O’Brian said. …
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