LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. - A house fire in Lehigh Acres could have been much worse if firefighters hadn't gotten there as soon as they did. The homeowner and her dog have their neighbors to thank.
Coming home to swaying, melted siding and charred holes in her roof, Dee Henderson was just relieved to see her dog, Keen's tail wagging. "Normally, we keep him in the house, but today, thank God, my son took him outside, put him outside before he left," Henderson said.
Sunday afternoon, a fire sparked at her home on 34th Street Southwest in Lehigh Acres. 14-year-old neighbor Tyler Cole knew Henderson had a dog. His first reaction was to run over and make sure Keen, and anyone else, got out safely.
"My friend's mom was yelling, go save the dog, grab the dog," Cole said. "So, I ran over there, grabbed the dog, took it to my girlfriend so she wouldn't run into the house, then I ran back in, and saw the door was locked. I rang the doorbell, knocked down the door, ran back into the house, checked all the bedrooms and basically, ran out."
Firefighters put out the flames within minutes. Meanwhile, neighbors tried to salvage Henderson's belongings, grabbing what they could from the garage. "They are thinking something started on the outside," Henderson said. "I did have a trash can there that had trash in it. We were cleaning, so he is not sure if it started on its own, but the Fire Marshal is coming out to give us more details."
She knows Keen is one lucky dog, thanks to her quick-thinking neighbors. Luckily, the majority of the fire damage is in the attached garage and roof area. Henderson says she will be staying with her mother until repairs are made.