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House Fire: Dogs Alert Branford Family of Early Morning Blaze

Occupants of a Flat Rock Road home — with "no working smoke detectors" — escaped unharmed after their pets alerted them to the blaze, according to Branford Firefighters.

Branford Fire Department members work to extinguish an early morning blaze Jan. 12 at a Flat Rock Road home. Credit: Branford Professional Firefighters Local 2533 Facebook page
Branford Fire Department members work to extinguish an early morning blaze Jan. 12 at a Flat Rock Road home. Credit: Branford Professional Firefighters Local 2533 Facebook page
A Branford family safely escaped an early morning fire Sunday at their Flat Rock Road home — which had no working smoke detectors — after they were alerted to the blaze by their dogs.

Members of the Branford Fire Department responded to the report of a structure fire at 31 Flat Rock Road, which came in shortly after 4:30 a.m. this morning.

The blaze, which is believed to have started in the basement, resulted in moderate physical damage to the two-story cape, as well as interior smoke and water damage.

"Preliminary accidental, occupants escaped unharmed due to the dogs waking them up," Branford firefighters reported via their Facebook page.

They added that the home had "no working smoke detectors" at the time of the fire.
sherri murawski January 13, 2014 at 10:46 AM
This family is without housing at the moment. They are in a hotel for 2 days thanks to the Red Cross, but don't know where they are going after that. The landlord is not going to fix the house quickly and since it is not livable they will be looking for a place to stay. If anyone knows of housing for these 4 people and dogs please comment below. Remember these dogs saved their lives!!! They are not vicious.
Julie Weisberg (Editor) January 13, 2014 at 03:02 PM
Sherri: Thank you for sharing the additional information regarding the family's status. Please let them know that if they would like, I'd be more than happy to meet with them and the dogs to put together a post to help spread the word about their current need for housing. And if they would prefer not to, I do understand. Just thought I would extend the invitation to help. You can email me either way at julie.weisberg@patch.com. Just an FYI.
sherri murawski January 14, 2014 at 12:40 PM
I would also like to comment that there was an article in the Branford Eagle regarding the fire. Most of that article is wrong. They list the dogs as Rotties, they are not, they are Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, they do not look anything like each other. The editor/ writer also said that there was a "caged squirrel" living in the house as a pet, well that squirrel is a Sugar Glider and yes they are pets. Also, the dogs are not at the local shelter now, they were at the Days Inn Hotel with the family thanks to the Red Cross. The family needs a place to stay now since the Red Cross only pays for 2 days and the landlord is not helping with relocation. I would like to mention that CT has a Relocation Act in its statutes for matters like this, but some people would rather refuse to cooperate with it and then the Town or City has to step in. At this moment, the Town of Branford is trying to help as much as they can. Thank you to them.
frankthebunny January 14, 2014 at 08:26 PM
So its cool to burn down a home you don't own then expect a new one in the morning. Fireplace fires happen all the time you shouldn't pass out with a fire in a fireplace. Hope you have rental insurance.
sherri murawski January 14, 2014 at 10:14 PM
Where did you get they passed out with a fire burning? The fire was ruled accidental by the fire department with the fireplace being the problem. The fire was out, doors shut when tenants went to bed. And once again there wasn't a working smoke in the basement where the fire started to spread, that my friend is the landlords responsibility. So yes, the tenants should be somewhere safe & not on the street because of neglect.

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