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Alerted By Family Dog, Man Saves Mother From Burning Home

NEW BEDFORD (CBS) - A woman is recovering at the hospital thanks to her son who saved her by running into her burning home. It was a family effort that began with the family dog.

"I'll never yell at you again for barking at night," Carolyn Colangelo said to Ginger, the family dog.

Ginger barking at someone yelling outside, woke-up the Colangelos. The yells were about a fire at the home next door in New Bedford.

Ginger alerted her owners to a house fire (WBZ-TV)

"I saw flames coming out of the roof. I knew I had to get here," said Carl Colangelo.

He ran out the door.

"He yelled at us words we'll never forget , 'Oh my God. My mother's house is on fire,'" said Carolyn.

Carl knew he had to find his 83-year-old mother Gertrude.

New Bedford fire
A man rescued his mother from a burning home in New Bedford (WBZ-TV)

"The house was just all smoke and it burned so much," said Carolyn. "He just disappeared into the dark."

"So many things ran through my head- how am I going to tell my children?"

Firefighters were on their way. They said the fire burned for a while early Wednesday morning before anyone noticed.

"I opened up the door and found her on the ground here (pointing to the bathroom floor)," said Carl.

Carl Colangelo
Carl Colangelo (WBZ-TV)

Making the situation worse, the door was closed, trapping the smoke in the bathroom and the fire had started directly upstairs.

"I tried to stand her up twice, but there was something wrong. So I said, 'I have to carry you,'" said Carl.

The fire chief said there was considerable smoke in the house and Carl took a chance running in. The chief considers Carl a hero.

"The heroes were the chain of events that happened; the people that came by and alerted the dog, my wife for getting me out of bed," said Carl.

It appears Gertrude had a stroke and was unconscious while her home burned. Her son thankfully was right there.

"I think any child would do that for their parent. Yes, he's a hero, absolutely," said Carolyn.

Firefighters are figuring out what started fire, and said it is not suspicious.

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