Dog helps owner escape minor blaze controlled by East Providence Firefighters

white st fire
white st fire

Photo courtesy EPFD Lt. James Bellamy
The mattress that caught fire due to an overheated computer battery lay in front of a home on White Avenue in Riverside after East Providence Firefighters controlled the blaze.

EAST PROVIDENCE — “Man’s best friend” proved true again early Wednesday morning, March 12, as a dog owner was jarred awake by his pet in time to help both escape a fire at 45 White Ave. along the waterfront in Riverside.

Liberty, a charcoal Weimaraner, woke his owner around 5 a.m. and alerted him to a fire that had started in his bed. According to East Providence Fire Department Lieutenant James Bellamy, the man’s laptop overheated, causing his mattress to catch fire.

Liberty, the lieutenant continued, was sleeping in the room with his owner, who had fallen asleep with the computer still running. The dog alerted the man, who immediately noticed his bedding and clothing were smoldering. The fire was sparked not by the computer itself, Lt. Bellamy added, but because of the battery.

“When a laptop is on a hard surface and the fan can circulate the air properly, it’s no problem,” Lt. Bellamy said. “But when it’s on a bed near sheets or clothing, the fan get smothered and can cause the battery to overheat and catch fire. It’s a real problem. You see that a lot. People should be aware of that.”

The man did not suffer any significant burns. He was treated by East Providence EMTs at the scene and will be staying with family. Liberty also was unharmed.

Lt. Bellamy said there was minor fire damage to the second floor bedroom where the fire started as well as water damage to both floors and the electrical feed needed to be cut. It took firefighters only about 10 to 15 minutes to first remove the mattress and put out the fire, the lieutenant added.

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