Dog credited for saving residents from Austin apartment fire

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by TINA SHIVELY and KENNETH NULL

KVUE

Posted on February 11, 2014 at 3:19 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 11 at 7:31 PM

AUSTIN -- Fire investigators say a lit cigarette started a fire Tuesday morning at a North Austin condo complex, sending two people to the hospital. But credit for saving the lives of everyone in the building is now going to a dog.

Firefighters say a man fell asleep with a cigarette in his hand at the Peyton Place Condominiums off Payton Gin Road. The cigarette lit a couch cushion on fire.

The occupants thought they put the fire out and put the cushion out on the balcony, but wind reignited the fire around 4:15 a.m. Tuesday.

Meanwhile a three-year-old terrier named Kaiser let his owner in another unit know something wasn't right by barking and scratching at the front door.

"He was like tapping at my bed and he wouldn't let me lay back down. So I got up and I opened the door and when I did, all I seen was flames everywhere," Gidget Mercer said.

"I ran back inside and got the phone and dialed 911 and told them, you know, I gave them the address and told them there's a fire here, we need help like now," she added.

Two people were injured in the fire. Paramedics took them to a local hospital. Mercer told WFAA sister station KVUE the residents moved in just three days ago.

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