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Family Survives Fire Thanks to Neighborhood Pit Bull

Sunday, March 29, 2009 12:55 PM

A barking pit bull alerted a family of five to a smoldering fire in the basement of an Alexandria townhouse this weekend, fire officials said.

Jasmine, a young pit bull, began barking after a fire broke out shortly before 1 a.m. Saturday in the basement of a brick duplex at 37 South Gordon St. Smoke alarms sounded, but the family only heard the barking before emergency responders arrived.

Firefighters discovered a fire inside a wall behind a washer and dryer, which had started in the dryer vent. Damage was estimated at $20,000. Officials installed new smoke alarms. The family is staying with relatives and friends, officials said.

-- Staff Writer Derek Kravitz

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