Firefighters, alarm company honored for saving dog

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Curiosity nearly killed a dog in Norfolk, but quick response from firefighters and a home alarm company saved her life.

Chris Sacra was away from his home on Melrose Parkway when Sophie, his Labrador, reached for the stove and started a fire. That’s when an ADT alarm went off and dispatcher Michael Gervase called Sacra, then the fire department.

Photos: Norfolk first responders honored for saving dog

“My first thought was Sophie was home alone, and there was no one to let her out. I didn’t even realize the ADT dispatcher was going to tell the fire department that she was in there,” Sacra said.

Those first responders met the grateful homeowner Wednesday. Norfolk Fire-Rescue also received a $5,000 reward from ADT. They told WAVY.com the money will go towards their smoke alarm distribution program.

The American Red Cross reports 500,000 pets are killed in fires every year nationwide. The organization offers the following tips for protecting your pet:

  • Extinguish open flames — Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
  • Remove stove knobs — Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house. A stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.
  • Invest in flameless candles — These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
  • Secure young pets — keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.
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