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Homeowners' dog alerts them to fire

A barking dog alerted its owners to a fire in their Cornelius home early Tuesday morning on the 500 block of North 20th Place.

According to Cornelius Fire Department spokesman Matt Johnston, the two adults got up to see what was wrong just as their smoke alarms went off. Making their way downstairs, the couple noticed a red glow with smoke coming from their front door so they left the home through the garage instead.

Firefighters answered the call at 3:15 a.m. Tuesday, April 19, and found the outside of the home engulfed in flames, with heat so intense it was melting the siding of a neighbor’s home 30 feet away. Firefighters knocked down the flames in about 10 minutes and kept them from entering the home’s interior.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. It appears to have started on the front porch area. Damage is estimated at $25,000 to the home, a vehicle and the melted siding and cracked windows of the next-door neighbor’s home.