Fires

South Dakota woman saved from house fire by barking dogs

A woman who escaped unharmed from a house fire near Bath, South Dakota, was saved by her hero dogs, investigators said. 

Barking dogs woke up their owner Chastidy Pletten early Wednesday and alerted her to the flames, Brown County Emergency Manager Scott Meints told Aberdeen News

Pletten thought her pets Maddie and Jax just wanted to go outside, according to KSFY.  

"Opened the bedroom door, went out in the hallway to let 'em out in the backyard," she told the station. "There was kind of smoke, you know, but I thought maybe it was my contacts." 

A glass panel leading to the backyard was entirely black, KSFY reported. Pletten said she attempted to turn on a kitchen light, which didn't work, and ran her dogs out of the house. 

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"Flames up above the trees, everything else the house was then getting engulfed in flames, the entry way... so we ran over, got them in the kennel, put my mom's dog in the house and called 911," she said. 

Pletten and her pets weren't harmed, though the house was extensively damaged. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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The fire began in a garage behind the house, Brown County Sheriff's Office investigator Damian Bahr told Aberdeen News. 

"I had a space heater in there, and it wasn't on that I was aware of, but it was one that has push buttons on kind of the floor, so if one of the dogs bumped it, it could have been turned on," Pletten said. "I don't think that they're 100 percent sure that's what it was." 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.