PHILADELPHIA, PA -- A 2-year-old mixed-breed dog named Jack was in the care Wednesday night of the Red Paw Emergency Relief Team, which provides assistance for pets whose families have been displaced. Jack's family is out of their West Philadelphia home after a fire started early Wednesday morning. The Lomax family might never have known, might never have survived, if it wasn't for Jack.
"It was about 3:30 in the morning. OK, I was getting ready to go to sleep, and I heard this loud screaming in the house, saying, 'Get up, get up. Get up, get up. Everybody get out,' " said Aubrey Lomax Jr., homeowner.
The now scorched second-floor bedroom is where the fire started - the damage extensive. Jack was in a bedroom with Lomax's sleeping 2-year-old granddaughter, Autumn, and her mother, Ashley DePasquale. It was Ashley who was screaming for everyone to wake up. She told Action News by phone how Jack woke her, alerting her to the flames coming from the wall.
"I was laying down and he started getting really antsy, and he was just like not having me laying down, he was trying to warn me. The bed caught on fire and I had to run out to get help with my daughter still in the room, and the dog was on the bed protecting my daughter from the flames," said Ashley DePasquale, fire victim.
Ashley's screams woke the four other adults and two more children, ages 6 and 9, allowing them all to escape safely.
"Because he did that they were able to get everybody out of the house and call the fire department, so he saved their lives and helped stop the spread of the fire," said Jen Leary, Red Paw Emergency Relief Team.
The Lomaxs always knew Jack was special. He's particularly attached to little Autumn. Now, he's their hero.
"Jack is our hero," said Lomax.
"Yes, I would. He knew something was up," said DePasquale.
One cat was also rescued by the Red Paw Relief Team. Unfortunately, a second pet cat did not survive. The Lomax family does not have insurance, so they are trying to figure out how they will rebuild and be able to bring Jack home.