Lamar Co. resident says family poodle alerted them to fire

Lamar Co. resident says family poodle alerted them to fire
Homeowner says Molly woke them up to alert them of fire. Source: WDAM
Fire officials say garage is a total loss. Source: WDAM
Fire officials say garage is a total loss. Source: WDAM
Fire spread into the surrounding yard. Source: WDAM
Fire spread into the surrounding yard. Source: WDAM
Source: WDAM
Source: WDAM

LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Homeowners in Lamar County said the hero of the day is their dog, after a shed fire in their neighbor's yard early Friday morning.

"She's the one that alerted us, woke us up and got us going, so she's my hero," Homeowner Michael McQueen said.

McQueen said his family was sleeping in their home on Holly Hill Road in Oak Grove when his grandchildren's poodle, Molly, started barking at the back door. His grandkids just happened to be spending the night at the home, which meant Molly was there for a sleepover as well.

"It was just barking and barking and barking," McQueen said. "So, my wife got up to see if the dog needed to go out, she looked outside and saw the fire right behind our house."

McQueen said his neighbor's detached garaged was engulfed in flames and they were spreading quickly onto his property. McQueen said he grabbed a hose, while his wife called 911.

"I knew how dry that it was, I knew it wouldn't take long for the fire to spread. That's why I jumped up real quick, got dressed and got the hoses working on it," McQueen said. "When I got around to the backside of my storage building, it was so hot that I couldn't get near it to put water on it."

Jason Lamb with the Oak Grove Fire Department said the call came in just after 3 a.m. Friday. Officials said at the time of the initial call, it was unclear on what type of structures were involved, whether it be sheds or homes as well.

"I knew they were on their way, I could hear the sirens and everything," McQueen said. "Fire department showed up, pulled right in the driveway and got the hoses out and started working on it, they really did an outstanding job."

Lamb said the detached garage where the fire started was a total loss. Three to four other sheds had minor damaged after the flames spread. A cause for the fire is unknown at this time, but Lamb said there may have been some combustibles in the garage that attributed to the fire.

McQueen said his shed will need to be repaired or replaced. He pointed out he had a fire-proof safe in the back corner, that had burn marks on the side.

"I know I had a bunch of stuff in there that melted and got burnt up," McQueen said. "I'm just going to have to go through it and inventory to see what happened."

Lamar County Fire Supervisor George Stevens said the incident Friday morning was a close call and everyone was lucky someone woke up.

"If the dog had not woken up and heard the noise or whatever she heard, you know, the fire could have spread everywhere," McQueen said.

Lamb said Lamar County Emergency Management is taking over the investigation. Lamb said there may have been combustibles in the garage that played a role in the fire.