Dog alerts homeowner to Milford fire

MILFORD – Debbie Philbrick has her dog Miela to thank for her safe exit from her house Wednesday after a fire started in the attached garage.

Philbrick said she had nodded off as she was relaxing between shifts from her job at the Boys & Girls Club of Souhegan Valley when she heard the dog bark excitedly.

None of the smoke detectors apparently went off, but the dog, a dachshund/pit bull mix, woke her up. Philbrick walked toward the garage side of the house, noticed smoke and called 911.

Milford Fire Chief Jack Kelly said it looked like the fire at 74 Mason Road started at a work bench in the garage and traveled into the attic over the garage.

The blaze was beginning to enter the house when firefighters got it under control, he said.

They “contained it to the garage, and there is only smoke damage in the house,” the chief said. The house should be livable after it is cleaned. The damage to the garage seems reparable, and a car in the garage has some smoke and fire damage.

Fire trucks from Amherst, Wilton and Milford responded to the fire, and Brookline and Mont Vernon covered the Milford station.

Kelly said the call was dispatched at 12:44 p.m., and trucks left the scene by 3 p.m.

Javier Philbrick said his mother would probably stay at his home in Nashua.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or