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Dog Wakes Man During House Fire In Washington County

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CENTERVILLE (KDKA) -- A man says his dog helped him escape a fire that destroyed his Washington County home late Thursday night.

It happened around 11:55 p.m. on Vesta Street near Main Street in Centerville.

centerville house fire
(Photo Credit: KDKA)

"I didn't hear the smoke alarms. I didn't hear anything. If it wasn't for my dog getting me up, I wouldn't have got up," Bill Knerr said.

That dog is a white German Shepherd named "Ghost." Bill Kneer says he lost his house Friday morning but thanks to Ghost, he didn't lose his life.

"I was completely asleep and then he jumped up on the bed and was barking and jumping up and down and woke me up," Knerr said.

washington county dog house fire
(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Fire Chief Derrek White of the Dembo Vesta 6 Fire Company talks about what they were facing.

"We came to Vesta Street here, finding a fully engulfed structure fire with heavy flames coming out of the roof, coming out of the front of the building and power lines down," he said.

And things got worse for fire fighters battling the flames during this early morning blaze.

"We had some complications with water issues here. The water, we had to call in tankers to supply the fire. It wasn't enough water supply for the hydrants to feed this fire," White said.

centerville fire
(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Brian Smithmyer)

While this was going on, Kneer and Ghost were making their way out of the house.

"I opened the window. I threw my dog out onto the porch roof and climbed out and we just jumped off into the yard," Knerr said.

The State Police fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire, but one thing is certain -- had it not been for Ghost, the outcome could have gone differently.

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