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Dogs' barking warns Tampa owner of blaze

Scruff and Ash, unharmed in the fire they saved Jason Goodrich from, are being cared for by neighbors Chris Connelly and his daughter, Ella. Goodrich was recovering Saturday at St. Joseph’s Hospital after suffering from smoke inhalation.

GEN YAMAGUCHI | Times

Scruff and Ash, unharmed in the fire they saved Jason Goodrich from, are being cared for by neighbors Chris Connelly and his daughter, Ella. Goodrich was recovering Saturday at St. Joseph’s Hospital after suffering from smoke inhalation.

TAMPA — A Tampa man awoke to the sound of his two dogs barking Saturday morning. They had noticed what he hadn't: His house was on fire.

Tampa Fire Rescue officials say Jason Goodrich, 31, is lucky to be alive, because he didn't have a working smoke detector.

"The pets were great, but smoke detectors are probably a more reliable way to go," Capt. Greg Reed said.

Firefighters arrived at 4102 N Ola Ave. about 7 a.m. and found smoke pouring from the home. Goodrich and the dogs had escaped, but he was suffering from smoke inhalation and was incoherent because of oxygen deprivation. The dogs, Ash and Scruff, were unharmed.

Goodrich was treated at the house by paramedics and taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in fair condition. His cousin, Adam Groulx, said he spent Saturday in the intensive care unit but "he's going to be okay."

Firefighters had the fire under control in about 40 minutes, and there were no other injuries. The inside of the beige stucco home was gutted by the blaze. Damage was estimated to be at least $90,000.

Investigators said the fire started in the couch in the living room because of improperly discarded smoking materials.

Scruff and Ash were being cared for by neighbors.

Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at jvandervelde@sptimes.com or (813) 661-2443.

Dogs' barking warns Tampa owner of blaze 12/20/08 [Last modified: Monday, December 22, 2008 11:10am]
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