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Rescue dog helps alert family of Middle Tennessee house fire

Jeff LeCates, a neighbor, discovered the fire after his dog was barking “frantically and unusually” at the door.
Credit: Franklin Fire Department

FRANKLIN, Tenn. — Consumer fireworks caused a house fire in the Twin Oaks neighborhood on Saturday night, according to Franklin Fire Marshal Andy King.

King said video showed the fire started on the exterior of the White Court home at 10:20 p.m., around one hour after the homeowner disposed of a consumer firework next to his trash can and other combustibles.

Jeff LeCates, a neighbor, discovered the fire after his dog was barking “frantically and unusually” at the door.

"She just started barking frantically and turning circles at the door which is not a normal behavior for her," said LeCates. "To me, it’s just one of those things; Fate, divine intervention, God’s plan."

When LeCates opened the door to investigate, the dog flew past him.

"Opened the door to let her out and she ran to the far end of the house and she ran around the corner and I noticed the neighbors house was on fire," said LeCates.

LeCates then alerted the sleeping family of the fire. All three family members and their pets escaped without harm.

Firefighters were dispatched to the home at 10:44 p.m. King said the fire burned through the exterior soffit and involved the attic above the attached garage, causing an estimated $50,000 in damage.

LeCates used a garden hose on the fire until firefighters arrived.

"I’m not a hero she’s probably a hero. But Brie has already paid me. She’s the reason I have the dog," said LeCates.

LeCates dog, a three-year-old Belgian Malinois named Roux, was adopted 15 months earlier. The woman who lives in the home that caught fire is a dog groomer and knew that LeCates had lost his German Shepherd. She knew that Roux needed a home and helped facilitate the adoption.

Consumer fireworks are prohibited in Franklin.

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