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Retired firefighter, family dog save woman from burning home

The firefighter was driving by when he saw a plume of smoke and was met by a dog when he arrived at the home

By Kristina D'Ambrosio

BOWIE, Md. — The barking of a family dog and the quick work of a retired Prince George's County firefighter helped save a woman when a fire broke out at a two-story home on Friday in the 16300 block of Pond Meadow Lane in Bowie, Md, according to Prince George's County fire officials.

The fire caused extensive damage to the home.

Officials say the woman was taken to a local hospital with smoke/burn injuries which do not appear to be life-threatening. According to spokesperson Mark Brady, a retired "fire lieutenant rescued a disabled occupant and brought her to safety" just before 10 a.m. Friday.

Retired Fire Lt. Billy Mills was in the area of Pointer Ridge on his way to a store Friday morning when he saw smoke.

Lt. Mills told 9News, "I got a good whiff of what it was and definitely smelled like a house fire."

He arrived at the home at the same time as the first firefighters reached the scene. He went to the rear of the house where he saw a black Lab scurrying around the back yard. When the dog saw Mills, he went to the sliding doors at the back of the house and barked nonstop while looking inside, Brady said.

The frantic dog, an 8-year-old Lab-mix named Pumpkin, alerted Mills to an adult woman on her knees and unable to move inside the home.

Mills said , "Sure enough she was in there about 4 or 5 feet. I crawled in there and grabbed her."

Mills entered the house, pulling the woman out to the back yard. She had suffered smoke inhalation and burn injuries, but is expected to be okay.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and loss estimates are still being established. The home is unsafe and not livable, according to fire officials.

Pumpkin, the canine hero, is being held at County Animal Control until his owner is released from the hospital.

Mills summed up the day's events by saying, "I guess I just happened to be at the right place at the right time today."

Republished with permission from WUSA9

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