A family dog is being called a hero after alerting a sleeping mother and her daughter to a burning house early Sunday in Raytown.
The mother and 13-year-old daughter woke up to smoke and fire in the home in the 6700 block of Ralston Avenue shortly after 2 a.m., according to the Raytown Fire Protection District. They escaped through a second-floor window after finding heavy smoke and fire blocking the stairs. A neighbor who was awakened by their cries helped them off the roof with a ladder before fire crews arrived.
The dog was not able to get out and died in the blaze, said interim fire chief Matt Mace. He credited the pet and the neighbor for helping the family escape injury.
The family was extremely lucky, Mace said. First, their dog woke them, then the neighbor responding so quickly to rescue them from the roof.
Strong winds made it difficult to fight the fire and forced firefighters at one point to exit the house and use an aerial apparatus to extinguish it from the outside.
The fire probably originated around the living room fireplace, fire officials said. The house had working smoke alarms.
The damage to the house was estimated at $165,000. The American Red Cross is assisting the family.
| Judy L. Thomas, firstname.lastname@example.org