Dog helps family escape fire at Duluth home

A close-up image of a Duluth fire truck
A close-up image of a Duluth fire truck in 2021.
Duluth Fire Department file

Fire officials in Duluth say a dog helped alert a family to escape to safety after a fire at their home Wednesday night.

Authorities said the fire started in a detached garage, inches from a home on the 4100 block of Chambersburg Avenue in the Duluth Heights neighborhood, around 10 p.m.

The Duluth Fire Department said in a news release that a yellow Lab named Dudley was kenneled in the garage, and his barking woke up a 12-year-old girl sleeping in the adjacent house. She saw the fire out her window and in turn woke the rest of the family of four, and everyone got out of the house without injury. Authorities said her father rescued Dudley while firefighters rushed to the scene of the fire; the garage was nearly fully engulfed in flames when crews arrived.

Fire officials said the quick action of the girl who heard Dudley barking helped prevent further damage to the nearby home.

“According to her father she acted quickly and calmly,” the fire department statement said. “By being dispatched before the fire reached the house, the DFD was able to keep the fire out of the house and the family is not displaced at this time.”

Fire officials said Dudley the dog was doing well, apart from some singed fur.

Firefighters said the blaze partially collapsed the roof of the garage, and that they had to use caution because of welding gas cylinders stored in the building. Damage to the garage and its contents was estimated at $80,000. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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