Dogs awaken man in Camptonville house fire |

Dogs awaken man in Camptonville house fire

Barking dogs helped a Camptonville-area man escape his burning house before flames destroyed the building Thursday morning.

The single-family building on Highway 49 a mile north of Mill Street was engulfed in flames by the time firefighters arrived, Camptonville Fire Chief Matt Cooney said, adding that the house had historical significance.

“It was an old roadside house from the original days of Highway 49,” Cooney said. “It was being renovated.”

The chief said he didn’t learn the name of the renter – who escaped the fire – or the owner. He said the fire might have been electrical in nature, but it remains under investigation.

The renter’s dogs woke him around 4:20 a.m. He broke a rear window to escape, then entered the front door and tried to call 911, but flames had possibly damaged the phone line, Cooney said.

After trying to fight the fire with a hose, he gathered his dogs, drove to Camptonville, woke up a resident, and 911 was called at 4:46 a.m.

Camptonville firefighters responded with crews from North San Juan, Downieville and Pike. Cooney said the house was insured, and the insurance company made housing arrangements for the renter.

– Doug Mattson

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