EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

January 17, 2013

Dog alerts residents of 9-unit building to fire

LAWRENCE — The owner of a beauty salon, as well as residents of 8 residential apartments in the same building, should thank an American pitbull named Jojo for alerting them of a fire in the salon this morning.

At around 8 a.m. Jojo kept going to the window of a first-floor apartment at 107 Union St., barking.

"He was flipping out and going crazy," said Tanya Gerard, 28, who lives in an adjacent apartment in the same building as the beauty salon, located at 101 Union St.

"He kept running to the window," she said. Gerard's mother finally looked outside to see what the dog was barking at and saw smoke coming from the front door of the Hair Distintion Beauty Center and Barber Shop.

"She shouted, 'The building's on fire!'" Gerard said.

Gerard grabbed her sweater and a fire extinguisher and ran next door to the salon. She went inside and started spraying the flames. She kept getting driven out by the smoke, and had to run in and out of the small salon three or four times, she said, with the help of a passerby.

Firefighters took over as soon as they arrived and got the fire out quickly.

They pulled out a bench that appeared to be badly burned. Gerard said the fire started because of a space heater.

Lawrence Fire Inspector Paul Maccarone said the sprinklers also went off, helping to quickly knock down the fire.

Dep. Chief John Marsh is also investigating.

The fire appeared to cause minor damage to the interior of the salon.

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More on this story in tomorrow's editions of The Eagle-Tribune.

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