Lynchburg Man Says Dog Saved Him From Fire

Lynchburg, VA - A Lynchburg man says his dog saved his life when the house he was in caught fire overnight.

Fire crews were called to the home at 1012 Pierce Street just before 1 a.m.

Dennis Graves says he woke-up when his 5-year-old German Shepherd started barking.

"I looked out the window and saw the light's outside and I said 'Oh man, this place is on fire!'" Graves recalled.

Flames 30 to 40 feet high were coming from the home's roof.

Neighbors watched helplessly for nearly an hour while firefighters battled the blaze.

"Around twelve o'clock last night, I heard windows busting out the house," Junelle Brown said.

It was too late for Graves to escape out the front door, so he grabbed his dog and the two made their way out the back.

"He's my savior," Graves said, looking at his dog named 'Sam.'

Fire investigators say, based on burn patterns on the front porch, it appears discarded smoking material caused the fire.

"It's been ruled as accidental," Investigator Steve Ripley explained.

Sam "the savior" got an extra long walk as a reward for the rescue.

The American Red Cross is paying for Graves and two other displaced residents to stay at a motel for the time being.