‘Would have died if it wasn’t for him’: Dog alerts residents to fire that destroyed Brockton homes

BROCKTON, Mass — Flames tore through two homes in Brockton early Thursday morning, sending three people to the hospital and displacing 19 residents, officials said.

Firefighters responding to South Street shortly before 3 a.m. found flames tearing through a pair of large multi-family homes, according to the Brockton Fire Department.

A home at 37 South St. was fully engulfed in flames. The fire then spread to 35 South Street.

Everyone living in both homes was able to get out, but some were trapped by a fence in the backyard and had to be freed by firefighters.

“They were breaking the fence and then pulling them through the fence cause the radiant heat was coming off that house they were trapped in a courtyard almost,” Brockton Fire Chief Brian Nardelli said.

Two people living in the homes and a firefighter were taken to the hospital. They are expected to be OK.

Drone video taken by a Boston 25 News photographer showed both homes completely burned out and heavily charred.

Those who lived in the homes lost all of their belongings as a result of the destruction.

“Beautiful home, just gone up in flames,” said Maria Rogers, who lived on the first floor of one of the homes that caught fire.

Rogers was sleeping when her dog Bentley woke her up.

“If it wasn’t for him. I wouldn’t have woken up,” Rogers recalled. “He was barking like crazy. He woke me up. I would have died today if it wasn’t for him.”

Rogers and seven other people were able to escape the home thanks to Bentley.

The flames spread quickly to the house next door where 11 people living there also made it out safely.

“Wake up with the heat over my head and then just wake my son looking for everybody in the house looking to see if anybody stay behind, then left,” said Steve Alvs, who lived in one of the homes that caught fire.

Brockton Fire Chief Brian Nardelli said there was a serious hoarding issue in the house with debris everywhere, making it difficult for firefighters to get around. The big challenge—was making sure the flames didn’t jump to any other neighboring homes.

“This is a total loss,” said Nardelli. “We don’t want anymore to spread anywhere else. And yeah, houses are tight. This isn’t farmland, this is a city.”

Despite the destruction, neighbors and the people who lived in the homes are grateful everyone made it out safely.

“We all got out alive that is what we have to be thankful for,” Rogers said. “But we just lost everything. You never think this is going to happen to you but it’s been happening to a lot of people in Brockton. I just don’t understand.”

In the last couple of months, there have been several fires in the city, but it’s too early to determine what sparked this fire.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

Download the FREE Boston 25 News app for breaking news alerts.

Follow Boston 25 News on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch Boston 25 News NOW