PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - A local family is thanking a hero for saving their lives from a house fire, early Wednesday morning. It just so happens that hero is not a human. They say their dog is the brave one who jumped into action when they needed help.
That hero's name is Jack, a four-legged family member that knew something was wrong. His instincts were spot on, saving seven lives.
"I just tried to open the door and the flames just shot into my face," said fire victim Aubrey Lomax Jr.
It was a terrifying morning in the West Philadelphia home on North Alden Street, the home where Aubrey Lomax has lived and raised his family in for more than 30 years.
"My son's girlfriend started screaming, 'Everybody get up!, everybody get up!, everybody get up!'" recounted Lomax Jr.
She was asleep in a second-floor bedroom with her one and a half-year-old daughter when her boyfriend's dog "Jack" started barking, alerting them to the fire.
"I'm glad he was there at the time because I could have lost my daughter and her at the same time," said Aubrey Lomax III. "I'm glad he's part of my family."
Family member Carol Lomax said, "Jack was very instrumental in waking up the mother, in licking her face, and barking. He stood by the daughter and started licking her face and he would not leave the room," said Carol Lomax.
"He saved our lives, he definitely did," said Lomax Jr.
All seven people, including three children, made it out of the home safely thanks to this one and a half-year-old lovable Lab/German Shepherd pup.
Frank Frake of Red Paw Emergency Relief, the Red Cross for animals, responded to the fire scene.
"They are smart. They know when something isn't right," said Frake.
Red Paw Emergency Relief is temporarily caring for Jack while the Lomax's pick up the pieces, although the loyal boy did not want to leave his family's side.
"I was literally walking up and down the street for 45 minutes trying to figure out if I can take this animal," said Frake.
Eventually, Frake gained Jack's trust, but the scared pup is definitely missing his family.
"You just hope the family can recover quick enough so we can bring him back home to them soon," said Jen Leary of Red Paw Emergency relief.
Red paw emergency relief usually keeps the displaced pets for a couple of days to a week, until the family can get back on their feet.
The family says their house was not insured. They have set up a GoFundMe page. You can donate at https://www.gofundme.com/lomax-family-home-fire