Dog Alerts New Jersey Couple to Fire

Family flees blaze after Toby begins howling.

You can bet John Cramer and his wife Cheryl won’t yell at their dog, Toby, for barking. That’s because the alert pet saved their lives.

The South Brunswick, N.J., couple was asleep in their second floor bedroom at about 6:30 a.m., March 5, when Toby, a Norwegian Elkhound the couple had just adopted, began howling.

The racket woke John Cramer, who went downstairs to comfort Toby on the first floor. It was a good thing he did. When he got downstairs, Cramer saw flames climbing a wall.

The couple quickly fled the house with their daughter, Toby, and their other dog, which had been sleeping upstairs with them.

The couples three cats were lost in the fire, which started in an electrical connection in the basement, according to a report by the Associated Press. Firefighters said the blaze burned about a half hour before it was discovered.

Posted: March 7, 2006, 3 p.m. EST

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