By Steve Beck

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS) — A family dog is being credited for saving a family from a house fire in South Jersey early Wednesday morning.

The fire started at about 3:30 a.m. inside a home in the 2000 block of N. Blue Bell Road in Franklin Township, Gloucester County.

When firefighters arrived, they encountered heavy smoke and flames billowing from the home. Firefighters were able to place the fire under control in about an hour.

According to fire officials, the family dog alerted the family of the fire by barking. All the family members, including a man in a wheelchair, were able to get out of the home safely. Unfortunately, two family cats are believed to have perished in the fire.

The American Red Cross South Jersey Chapter is assisting the displaced residents.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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