Dog Saves Owner from Fire

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MOUNT CARMEL TOWNSHIP -- A dog is being praised for saving the life of his owner in Northumberland County.

The pet alerted the man to a fire early Wednesday morning. Oz saved his owner from the fire.

The 12-year-old dog lives with his owner Randy Merlo in the village of Atlas near Mt Carmel.

Oz and Randy were inside when fire broke out at their double block home when. It started in the basement of the side which is vacant.

If it weren't for Oz, some said Randy might not be alive. The blaze broke out as Randy slept.

"He was nudging me or whatever, what I can remember, he was nudging me, and I smelled smoke and we left! Saved my life, he probably did, most likely he did," said Randy Merlo, fire victim.

The fire caused a lot of damage and woke up some neighbors.

"We heard four loud bangs and said 'what is that, what is that?' He went out and said 'Oh, my God, there is fire trucks all over. It's a fire!,'" said Sandra Barkus, fire victim's neighbor.

Mount Carmel Township officials said the house where the fire started has been a thorn in their sides.

"Accumulation of garbage, public nuisance of course, the tires you see under the front porch, the high grass in the backyard, we have had a problem with this property before," said Chief Brian Hollenbush, Mt. Carmel Township Police.

"I would like to know what caused the fire, if it's suspicious in nature," said Greg Barkus, fire victim's neighbor.

"We determined the origin in the basement of the home. We're saying incendiary, suspicious but still under investigation," said Chief Hollenbush.

Mt. Carmel Township Police want anyone with information about the suspicious blaze to give them a call.