SAN ANTONIO – A Northwest Side woman is crediting her dog for alerting her and two other family members early Wednesday morning to a fire that destroyed their home.
The unidentified woman said her home in the 5500 block of Slattery did not have smoke detectors. The woman said she, her father and grandmother all made it out safely thanks to their dog's barking that woke them up. Unfortunately, the family's cats could not be located.
"The dog was really their smoke detector if that was the case," said San Antonio Fire Department Battalion Chief Jonathon Jones. "They start to smell trouble and they know it. Then, they come to you and let you know. In this case, that's more or less what happened."
It appears the alert from the animal came in the nick of time. The fire, which broke out around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, left the home gutted.
Jones said the fire already had a good head-start by the time fire crews arrived. He said firefighters found flames shooting through the roof, and the strong winds from the overnight storms only made things worse.
"It was pushing the fire from the back of the house to the front, which complicated things for us," Jones said. "It also caught the house next to it on fire. So at one point in time, we had this house on fire and the one next to it. "
Jones said the damage to the home next door was contained to the outside. The people who live there also had to leave their home while firefighters battled the flames.
He said the fire appears to have started on the back side of the original home. Jones said arson investigators would determine the cause of the fire.