BELLE PLAINE, Minn. - A family is crediting the family dog for alerting them to a fire that destroyed a home in Belle Plaine Friday morning.

Dave Menke tells KARE 11 that he awoke to the sound of popping in his garage and his red lab Diesel barking loudly. Menke, his wife and two daughters got up and initially did not find anything, but soon noticed smoke and flames coming from the garage.

Fire crews received the call around 5:15 a.m., and by the time they arrived at the home on Shea Circle minutes later flames had jumped from the garage to the main part of the structure. The call was elevated to three alarms, andcrews from Jordan, Shakopee, New Prague and the Mdewankanton Sioux Community responded toput down the fire.

Belle Plaine Fire Chief Todd Otto says firefighters were able to salvage some contents of the home, but at this point the structure appears to be a total loss.

The chief says a battery charger plugged in at the back of the garage could be a factor in the fire, but the incident remains under investigation.

Menke is thanking residents of his community for their concern and support. "It's just a home," He told KARE 11 reporter Dave Berggren. "We have our family still."

He added that his family is blessed, and things could have ended much worse.

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