Dog credited with alerting man to Painesville house fire

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PAINSESVILLE, Ohio-- Officials with the Painesville Fire Department say the credit should go to a man’s dog for waking him up when his home was on fire on Thanksgiving Day.

Firefighters were called to the home on Bank Street in Painesville just before 5 p.m. on Thursday for reports of a house fire.

“It was an amazing amount of fire to see that it got that big that quick. It’s not common for us to have a fire like that,” said Captain Tom Hummel with Painesville Fire.

Hummel said they cannot release the name of the man, 52, who was inside the home at the time of the fire. He was taken to the hospital for burns on his hands and smoke inhalation.

“He was awakened by his dog and found the house to be on fire and he was able to get out. Unfortunately, the dog did not escape the fire, so we feel it’s very important to have working smoke detectors and our goal is to get one in every house in the city,” Hummel said.

Hummel said the home did not have working smoke detectors, and if it wasn’t for the dog, things may have ended up very different.

“Horrendous,” said Jerry Lockard, a neighbor who lives across the street. “It was just the whole thing was one big ball of flames pretty much the whole front of the house. You couldn’t even see the house, all you could see was fire."

The flames were so big that firefighters couldn’t get inside and the fire started spreading to the home next door, owned by Jim Gebeau. Gebeau was at a friend’s house for Thanksgiving dinner when he got a call that there was a home on fire on his street.

“My stomach started turning and everything. And I thought, 'Oh man.' The time and the money that you put into this to make it look good and then to have something like that happen is kind of devastating,” Gebeau said.

Hummel said they are not ready to release the cause of the fire at this time, but we expect an update next week.

Hummel said if anyone cannot afford a smoke detector they can reach out to the department and they will install one free of charge.

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