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Dog Saves Blind Woman's Life During Burglary In Northeast Philadelphia

by Natasha Brown

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A frightening awakening for a 54-year-old blind woman in the 4700 block of Marple Street.

She was startled out of her sleep at 3 a.m. on Thursday by the sound of voices inside her home.

A burglary in progress.

"She's awoken at 3 a.m. to her dog barking," said Captain Francis Bachmayer, Commanding Officer of North East Detective Division.  "She hears several male voices inside the house.  The guide dog chases the males from the house.  At this time the complainant smells a strong odor of natural gas.  Here the offenders put the gas range on without the flame, the house had filled up with natural gas."

With natural gas fumes willing the home, the woman's guide dog leads her to a phone to call police.

Officers capture the suspect a short time later, but say this incident could have played out a lot differently.

"This was a very dangerous situation," said Capt. Bachmayer.  "The offenders we believe got in through the rear basement, forcing the rear basement door.  At 3 o'clock in the morning it could have been a very serious situation."

Police say there were no injuries.

Based on the investigation, police say they arrested a man who lives on the block.  He's been charged with Burglary, Criminal Trespass, Causing And Risking A Catastrophe, and related offenses.

The incident remains under investigation.

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