A BARKING dog saved its owners’ lives when it alerted them to a fire outside tbefore it spread to the ir home.
The pet started barking yesterday, at about 4.15am, and its owners – a woman in her 40s and her teenage son – discovered their summer house alight.
They dialled 999, but within minutes flames had spread to the guttering and roof of their bungalow on Sykes Court, Swinton, Rotherham.
The pair evacuated the terrace property and worried neighbours were also outside when firefighters arrived.
The fire service said it believed the blaze had been started deliberately.
A police investigation has now been launched.
Watch manager Bob Leeson, from Dearne fire station, said the family had been lucky to get out unharmed.
He said: “The family had a smoke alarm, but it was the dog that alerted them to the fire, because, at that stage, smoke hadn’t started to get in.
“The woman and her son got up and saw their summer house alight, which was just 3ft from their home. The flames quickly spread to the guttering and then the roof so we had to virtually remove the entire roof and part of those either side of the bungalow.
“One of the windows cracked with the heat, so it would not have been long before the flames got inside if the fire had not been discovered when it was.
“If someone is going to do this to you, the only thing you can do to protect yourself is to have a working smoke alarm fitted, so you have a good chance of getting out.
“If they had not got out when they did the fire would have got inside and they could have had difficulty – they were fortunate the dog woke them up when it did.”
He said the family won’t be able to return home until repairs are carried out.
Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call South Yorkshire Police on 101.