By JON HAWORTH, ABC News
(DINWIDDIE, Va.) — Two dogs are being credited with saving the life of their owner after they woke him up while his house was burning down before perishing in the fire themselves.
The incident occurred at 6:24 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 18 in Dinwiddie, Virginia, when the Dinwiddie Emergency Communications Center dispatched fire and EMS units to a house fire and reports that an occupant and two dogs were still inside the building.
However, as authorities responded to the house fire about 35 miles south of Richmond, they received reports that the individual had successfully escaped and was at a neighbor’s house across the street. The location of the two dogs remained unknown at this time.
“Upon arrival fire crews found heavy fire and smoke showing from the front of the structure,” read a statement from the Dinwiddie Fire & EMS and Dinwiddie Emergency Management. “Crews immediately began knocking down the fire and entering the structure to conduct a primary search.”
The person who was in the house at the time of the fire was treated on the scene for smoke inhalation before being transported to the Southside Regional Medical Center for further treatment. The name and age of the individual has not yet been confirmed.
It was during the authorities’ search of the structure that they discovered the bodies of the two dogs whom the owner had credited with saving his life.
“Prior to transport by EMS, the occupant was able to tell crews that he was asleep at the time of the fire and that the two dogs had jumped on him to wake him up, which then allowed him to escape the fire,” authorities confirmed in a statement.
The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation and authorities are now looking to see if there were operating smoke alarms at the residence that could have helped to prevent this tragedy.
The occupant is now being assisted by family as well as the American Red Cross.
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