Orange County

Safe home: How an Alexa device helped save a beloved puppy from a house fire in Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. — An Orlando couple credits a little-known feature on their Alexa device for saving their home when it caught fire earlier this month.

Without it, they said they would have lost their young puppy that was still inside.

Just days before Christmas, Jonathan and Kathy said they were visiting a friend just minutes from home when they got the alert.

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A notification from their Amazon Echo came across Jonathan’s phone.

“(I) open the app and listen and sure enough, we could hear crackling, the smoke alarm,” he said. “It was going absolutely crazy.”

As part of Alexa’s free Guard feature, the app sends an alert when it detects noise such as glass breaking or smoke alarms.

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All the couple could think about was their 5-month-old French bulldog Cooper, who was home alone.

“He’s literally our little boy,” Kathy said.

Their garage camera caught the moments Jonathan arrived after rushing back to the house, parking the car and running inside to find the puppy. Within 25 seconds, you can see the driveway fill with smoke as it billowed out of the windows.

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“Luckily, (Cooper) was in his pen area, so I didn’t have to go searching for him,” Jonathan said. “(I) pulled him out, put him in the car and the fire department showed up minutes later.”

Firefighters quickly contained the flames that started in the kitchen.

With repairs already underway, the couple is grateful for what they feel is a little-known feature in their smart device.

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They encourage everyone to have a fire safety plan.

“If it wasn’t for this piece of technology in our kitchen, our little one wouldn’t be with us today,” Kathy said.

Google offers a similar sound detection through its Nest devices, which costs about $60 a year.

Amazon will soon launch an enhanced version of Guard with added emergency calling for $50 a year.

Adam Poulisse,

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.

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