A barking dog proved a life saver after it alerted its owners to a fire that ripped through a townhouse complex in Blackfalds.
Blackfalds Fire Chief Robert Cote said the dog woke the owners of one of the townhouses about 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday.
“They went and looked and the back of the unit was on fire,” he said. “While they were noticing the fire the propane tank on the barbecue on the their outside deck exploded.
“That’s when they high-tailed it out of there.”
The homeowners raced outside and alerted all of the neighbours in the six-unit townhouse complex on Westbrooke Road.
Thanks to the resident’s action no one was injured in the $1.2-million blaze.
“It’s very fortunate and quick thinking on their part,” said Cote.
There were reports that 15 people lived in the five occupied units including five children, but the fire department is still verifying the count.
About 18 Blackfalds volunteer firefighters battled the blaze, which took two hours to put out. Another six firefighters with Lacombe’s Fire Department arrived with their aerial truck to help out.
Five of the units were gutted. A sixth was damaged at one end.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Cote said the homeless families have contacted Canadian Red Cross and Family Community Support Services in the community for help.
Local efforts to help the families have already begun. Family Foods is collecting donations to provide prepaid Visa cards to help them get back on their feet.
A friend of the family had posted a message on Facebook late Wednesday asking for help finding a cat missing since the fire.