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Dog saves Plainfield family from house fire

A view damage rear house following an overnight fire 16000 block S. River Rd. Friday May 25 2012 Plainfield. |

A view of the damage to the rear of a house following an overnight fire in the 16000 block of S. River Rd. Friday, May 25, 2012, in Plainfield. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: July 3, 2012 10:43AM

When Sharon Berger took her 2-year-old golden Labrador to the vet for shots Wednesday, the doctor told her the dog would take care of her for a long time.

Peyton’s chance to do so came sooner than anyone expected. Early Friday, the dog’s barking alerted Berger’s son that the family’s house in southwest suburban Plainfield was on fire, and the family was able to escape safely.

The blaze was reported at 12:43 a.m. Berger suspects the fire started after her sons, Alex, 13, and Matthew, 9, used the backyard fire pit Wednesday night after Sharon and Peyton came back from the vet.

“My older son was trying to help me out and cleaned out the ashes when he got home from school Thursday. I think there was an ember smoldering because the can caught fire,” she said.

Peyton, who is named after Alex’s favorite football player, Peyton Manning, was sleeping upstairs in Alex’s room and barked enough to wake up the boy. He saw the flames and went downstairs to alert his mom and younger brother.

“We got out just in time because an aerosol can in the garbage exploded and the winds spread it to the house,” Berger said.

The fire and smoke damaged the attic, roof, first floor and basement and fire officials expect the house, which the Bergers were renting, will have to be torn down and replaced.

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