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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Neighbors and firefighters rushed to the scene of a house fire, believing the homeowner was trapped inside. Three fire departments worked quickly to bring the fire under control within 30 minutes.
Just before four Friday morning, Tim and Kathy DeGraaff woke up to an explosion near their home on Routt Road in rural east Louisville. Kathy DeGraaff says, "I opened up the front door and I looked and I thought, 'Oh my God, Brad's house is on fire.'"
Kathy and Tim immediately ran to the home, believing their neighbor and his dog were trapped inside. Kathy says, "My husband broke out a window, we were yelling, hollering, Brad, Brad! Just as my husband started to go inside the house there was another explosion." She thought, "It's too late."
Then the dog stopped barking and they thought the explosion had killed the dog. Fire was shooting out all the windows and up the stairs.
Nearly 30 firefighters converged on the scene, but even they couldn't get to the man they believed was trapped on the second floor.
Chief Sean Dreisbach of the Jeffersontown Fire Dept. explains, "Fire had already burned out the entire stairwell." Fire crews had to leave the house.
Kathy kept calling her neighbor's phone: "I was calling his phone numbers and I wasn't getting any answer. I just fell apart," she says.
But finally -- Brad answered. Kathy says, "I've never been so happy to hear somebody's voice -- heard him answer the telephone." She asked if it was Brad, and the voice over the phone said it was, and she realized he was in Las Vegas.
Even the dog wasn't in the house -- he was being kept in the garage to give a caretaker easy access. "Bear" was shaken up, but now is doing just fine.