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Persistent dogs save family in burning house

OSCEOLA, Ind. – Two pet dogs that began barking as flames and smoke spread through a northern Indiana house awakened a family of five in time for them to escape unharmed, a fire chief said.

Osceola Fire Chief Walter Tochman said the family initially tried to quiet the dogs when they began barking about 3:40 a.m. Monday, but the pets only became more agitated, leading the family to discover smoke that was filling the house.

“They started a different kind of bark and whining, and that’s what made them look down the hall, and they saw the smoke,” Tochman told the South Bend Tribune (http://bit.ly/1cFE6bL).

The homeowners escaped unhurt along with their daughter and two grandchildren from the house in Osceola, about 10 miles east of South Bend. Tochman declined to identify the family.

He said preliminary evidence indicates that an electrical problem may have started the fire, which gutted the wood-frame home in a matter of minutes.

“I couldn’t believe watching it go, it just went so fast,” Tochman said.

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