Little girl found miles away from burning home after alerting family to fire

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GREENTOWN, Ohio -- A family of five is homeless after their house caught fire Thursday morning in Stark County. One of the children was actually found miles away from the burning home.

"I looked around the corner and the whole house was up in fire," said Ryan Cooper, of Greentown.

Cooper's cell phone video captured the intense flames coming from the house on Donner Street in Greentown early Thursday.

"It was huge.  It was like a giant bonfire.  Electricity kept popping, there were explosions," said Cooper.

The fire started just before 2 a.m., and a family inside was sleeping at the time.

"I walked over, and the family was sitting there completely covered in char and ash.  And I asked, 'did everyone make it out?' A neighbor said everyone but the 10-year-old girl was missing at the time," said Cooper.

The Greentown Volunteer Fire Department said when they got the call, they were told  the girl was trapped inside.

"We went in but the flames were so intense, we had to retreat.  Then we got a report from the North Canton Police Department that they found a little girl walking with her dog on North Main Street, which is about three miles away from the fire scene," said Capt. Marc Jackson, with the Greentown Volunteer Fire Department.

Jackson said police asked her what she was doing out walking by herself, and that's when she told police she was looking for a place to call for help.

However, firefighters said it was the little girl who alerted her family to the fire.

Firefighters said the family of five was taken to the burn unit at Aultman Hospital where they were treated for smoke inhalation and non-life-threatening injuries.

Investigators still don't know what started the fire.

What they do know is the family's other dog never made it out, and the house is a total loss.