Couple jumps from balcony to escape St. Pete house fire, reunites with pet pooch

- Two people trapped on a balcony escaped after a St. Petersburg home caught fire.

Firefighters with St. Pete Fire Rescue responded to the home at 950 12st Street North and found flames and smoke ripping through the residence Wednesday morning. The couple living inside were trapped on the second floor due to the intensity of the fire.

Fire officials said in the confusion, their pet dog ran back into their home, and they had to jump from the balcony, without their dog. Luckily, they were uninjured, and firefighters rescued their pup. Their home is a total loss.

The dog was alert and cuddling with its owners as a firefighter returned the furry family member into their arms. The couple teared up, but were relieved.

One of the complications with the house fire was its location along a narrow alleyway, fire officials said. Only some fire units can navigate and fit onto the road. The intensity of the fire was also a factor. A neighbor shot video showing flames shooting high into the dark sky.

“What we ended up having to do, due to the volume of fire, was catch two separate fire hydrants and attack it from two different angles," explained District Fire Chief Steve Girk. "Because of the trees and most notably this alleyway … it didn’t give us a whole lot of room to get a lot of vehicles back there and maneuver."

A separate unit was at the bottom of the home where a female resident was living. Fire officials said she was able to escape uninjured, but her cats are unaccounted for as of Wednesday morning.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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