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You wanted to know: Firefighters say humans before pets

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After numerous calls, e-mails and comments on our website about the fire that destroyed a Wilmington home yesterday and killed the family's dog and cat, we asked experts for fire safety tips.

Firefighters say typical fire safety guidelines state humans are a priority. If it is safe to save animals, or re-enter the house, then animals are the next priority.

The Clark family managed to get out of their house after hearing their dog barking in the garage. Investigators say a 14-year-old boy opened the door to the garage to check on the dog. When he opened it, he saw flames and immediately closed the door to wake up his family.

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judgmental

I am amazed at how quick some are to condemn others. You are making comments with only a few facts. The media can't possibly portray all the facets of a story. You would be offended or upset it were done to you, so why would you do it to others? You are allowed to have an opinion, certainly. I can't help but think however that we shouldn't make a decision about the people or their choices unless we know them.

Dog saving lives

I guess I would be "barking wildly" too if there was a fire next to me as I was caged up in a garage.

I'm sorry that this has turned out to be a "feel good" story about a family pet turned hero. One would rationalize that any dog put away in a crate at night would be scared and barking when it cant escape from fire.

I look at it this way. A firefighter is charged with saving lives....(I guess that it depends on what the definition of "is" is.)

That makes more sense

I was wondering as was everyone else why they couldn't get the dog out of "smoke" filled garage. The first story said the door was opened and the gentleman saw "smoke". Now we know the garage was fully involved with smoke and fire. Now I know.

It says he saw flames.

It says he saw flames. Nowhere does it mention that the garage was fully involved.

NO! It does NOT make more sense.

The fire started in the garage. IT WAS CAUSED BY A CIGARETTE. SOMEONE knew what they were doing. Yes, of course human lives come first during rescues. However, the loss of two lives - pets who were unable to get out - is horrific. Last week's fire was started by someone who KNEW that his children were in the house. THIS fire was also intentional. Unless you have the mind of a 5-year-old or younger, there's no way you couldn't know that leaving a lit cigarette unattended - in the same room as the lives of 2 innocent animals - would result in a fire.

The pets were murdered. It's unforgivable.

Poor pets

Why would anybody put the family dog in a crate inside a garage in this weather to start with? It's obvious to me that they didn't value the poor dog's life to start with! The ASPCA has a sticker that you can put in your window to tell firefighters that there is a pet in the home in case of fire. If we do love our pets, we have to learn how to save their lives too. I can't imagine running out of my house without letting my dog out. So sad!