Tennessee rescue dog alerts owner to house fire next door, saves sleeping family

Officials said illegal consumer fireworks sparked the fire

A rescue dog in Tennessee became a Fourth of July hero after alerting her owner to a house fire next door and saving a family asleep inside.

Roux, a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois, was barking “frantically and unusually” at the front door of owner Jeff LeCates’ home in Franklin, about 21 miles south of Nashville, late Saturday night, a fire department press release said.

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When LeCates opened the door to investigate, Roux bolted outside. LeCates followed and saw his neighbor’s home on fire.

Roux, a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois, was adopted 15 months earlier.

Roux, a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois, was adopted 15 months earlier. (Franklin Fire Department)

LeCates pounded on their door, waking the family of three still inside. They escaped with their pets unharmed. LeCates used a garden hose to fight the flames until firefighters arrived.

Franklin Fire Marshal Andy King said consumer fireworks, which are illegal in Franklin, sparked the fire.

Video evidence showed that the fire began on the exterior of the home at about 10:20 p.m., about an hour after the homeowner threw out fireworks with his trash and other combustible materials, King said.

The fire scorched the roof of the attached garage and burned through to the attic, officials said.

The fire scorched the roof of the attached garage and burned through to the attic, officials said. (Franklin Fire Department)

The fire caused an estimated $50,000 in damages, according to the release.

In a twist of fate, Roux and LeCates would have never found each other if not for the woman who lives in the home that caught fire.

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She is a dog groomer and the reason why LeCates adopted Roux 15 months earlier, the release said. She knew Roux was a similar breed to LeCates’ German Shepherd that had died. She helped LeCates adopt Roux, who needed a good home.