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Dog dies while saving Ellenwood family from fire

Members of an Ellenwood family owe their lives to their dog, but they will not get a chance to show him their appreciation.

Clayton County firefighters were called to a home, located on Dan Drive in Ellenwood, at 5:45 a.m., on Friday, to respond to a house fire, according to Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services spokesman, Battalion Chief Landry Merkison.

The family, consisting of two adults and two children, had been asleep when the fire began in the downstairs area of their home. It was the barking of the family dog, while the fire was raging, that allowed them to get to safety, Merkison said.

"The family was awakened early [Friday] morning by the family pet, and they got out of the house safely," the fire department spokesman said. "The pet did not make it out. He perished."

Merkison said that, as of Friday afternoon, fire investigators were still trying to determine the cause of the fire.

He added, however, that family members did tell investigators there had been another fire, in the kitchen of the home, on Thursday night. The family members said they put that fire out themselves, according to Merkison.

"They said there had been a fire on the stove, and they self-extinguished it," Merkison said. "Apparently, they may have not completely extinguished it, or it got into the wall, somehow."

-- Curt Yeomans