By Ed Brock
Gould's mother called him with some good news and some bad news as he was driving back home from square dancing with his wife.
The bad news was that a fire had ravaged the Goulds' Morrow home on Skylark Drive.
The good news was that their miniature Doberman Pincher Princess was safe due to the quick actions of neighbors and modern technology.
"Princess jumped all over me when I came home," Carl Gould said.
The fire started around 8 p.m. Thursday, Morrow Fire Chief David Wall said.
"The neighbors saw heavy smoke from the upstairs of the house and called 911," Wall said. "One neighbor, out of concern for children possibly living in the house, kicked the door in and shouted for everybody inside to leave, but heavy smoke kept him from doing anything else."
His daughter and grandchildren had stayed with them previously but moved out months before, Carl Gould said. Only Princess and their Cockatiel Sam were home.
"When we left we put (Princess) downstairs," Gould said.
When Morrow firefighters arrived a three-person "attack team" entered the building and began to extinguish the fire.
"Using the thermal imaging camera they performed a search of the building and found the dog," Wall said.
Princess was conscious and scared when Lt. Elton Poss found her, Lt. Carl DeMarco said.
DeMarco said the city bought the thermal imaging camera about five years ago and they use it in every fire, but this is the first time it's led to the rescue of a living creature.
"I was very glad that (Princess) was OK," said Connie Gould, Carl Gould's wife.
Princess is doing well now and staying with his daughter in Griffin, Carl Gould said. Gould's mother Carleen Gould was also glad that her son and daughter in law were out dancing that night.
"They would have been in there when the fire happened if they hadn't gone out square dancing," Carleen Gould said. "I'd rather call with bad news than be called with that bad news."
There was no smoke detector in the house, Wall said.
The Clayton County and Forest Park fire departments also responded to the blaze and assisted in search operations, Wall said.
Also, Skylark Drive resident Charles Slater, a member of Morrow's newly formed Community Emergency Response Team, provided logistical support for firefighters investigating the blaze that is believed to have started in an upstairs bedroom.
Wall said the cause of the blaze was still under investigation.