Cat wakes up Rockport family before fire destroys home

Updated: Jul. 2, 2019 at 11:52 AM EDT
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SPENCER CO., Ind. (WFIE) - A home in Rockport was destroyed by a fire early Tuesday morning.

It happened at a home on North Elm St. between 3rd and 4th St.

The Assistant Chief of the Ohio Twp Fire Department, Jeff Harris, says the home was fully involved when firefighters arrived at the scene.

“Make sure you have an escape plan. That’s what got these people out- having an escape plan to get out of your house when you do have a fire because they could not come out the front door, they had to come out other options," said Harris.

Four people were inside when the fire broke out. A man who lives there says the family’s cat woke them up.

The man said his wife and son escaped out the backdoor, but he and his daughter got stuck upstairs due to the smoke. They then went out onto the roof and yelled for a teenager, who happened to be passing by on a bicycle, to grab a nearby ladder so they could get down.

All four members of the family were unhurt, but sadly, we’re told the cat, along with two dogs and a guinea pig, died.

“I hate that, but my biggest concern is their life. Things can be replaced but I feel like if I get the people out safe, that 's the important part," said Harris.

Police say the officer who was first on scene was taken to the hospital to be treated for severe smoke inhalation. We’re told his injuries are non-life-threatening, but he was transferred to Deaconess Gateway’s ICU for better care.

Our reporter at the scene says it looks like two nearby homes and two vehicles also sustained damage.

There’s no word yet on how the fire started.

We’ll keep you updated.

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