Family escapes fire thanks to dog 

Published 2:04 pm Monday, March 26, 2018

A family may have lost their home due to a fire early Friday morning, but they all escaped the blaze safely — because of the family dog. 

Around 2:40 a.m., Junction City firefighters responded to the fire of a trailer on Worldstown Road that was occupied by three adults at the time. Public Information Officer Jim Harris, with the Junction department, said responders were told one of the four dogs in the trailer began scratching at the door. 

“The owner’s girlfriend told us she heard the dog scratching and didn’t know why, she thought it needed to go out or something,” Harris said. But when she got up, she noticed the bedroom was full of smoke and saw flames coming out of the bathroom. 

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At this time, the cause of the fire is still under investigation, but investigators think it originated somewhere around the bathroom or laundry room. 

The trailer is a total loss, but none of the residents had to be treated. 

Harris said he has only seen a few cases where the family dog notified residents. “It’s pretty rare. And this dog was very friendly, looked to be some kind of pit bull mix,” Harris said. He said the dog came right up to first responders when the arrived on scene to greet them. 

The residents told responders they had five dogs; only three were accounted for. 

 “One thing we want to make very clear was that there were no working fire detectors in the home,” Harris said. Smoke detectors are not only a must-have for the obvious reasons, but particularly during erratic weather when furnaces and heaters are being turned off and on, and space heaters are being used, he said. The potential for a fire is much higher. 

“And for homes in rural areas. Homes in the city, your neighbor will see the smoke before you do, and call 911,” he said, but not in areas where the next home may be a mile or more away. 

“They got real lucky they had a dog that was on point. If that dog had gotten out, like the majority of animals do during a fire, they’d have never gotten out.” 

Harris said the Junction City Fire Department is unable to install detectors in homes like many departments do, but they can make a visit to check and make sure existing ones are working. 

Crews also returned to the scene around 10:30 Friday morning due to a report of a rekindle, but were able to extinguish it. 

The Boyle County Fire Department also responded to the original call. 

“Again, we want to make sure people understand — this is a rare case. You have to get your detectors up and working,” Harris said.