FLEMINGTON, N.J. (CBS 2) — A pet dog is being lauded as a hero for alerting a sleeping couple to a fire at their New Jersey home.

Laurie and Alex Esarco, who have two dogs, are praising their Cocker Spaniel, Oscar, who got their attention when flames engulfed the front of their Flemington house on Monday morning.

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1010 WINS’ Alice Stockton-Rossini reports: Oscar Saves The Day!

“He saved our family. It’s a big deal,” Alex Esarco told CBS 2’s John Slattery.

“If he didn’t come and scratch on the door, I wouldn’t have got out of bed,” his wife said.

Flames were climbing the front of the house and moving up to the second story windows. However, the couple was in the master bedroom and didn’t know the situation because they were asleep.

“Oscar actually barked and scratched on our bedroom door and got us out of bed to let us know there was something going on in the house,” Alex Esarco said.

“When I got up to open the door, I saw the whole house…was filled with smoke, flames are going.” Laurie Esarco said.

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As they rushed to get their six-year-old and seven-year-old children out of the house and called 911, Alex heard the smoke alarm.

“I didn’t hear the alarm until after he barked and scratched,” he said.

The fire started in garden mulch, which was ignited by a flood lamp. Using a fire extinguisher and then a broom, Alex was able to put out the fire before fire trucks arrived.

Oscar, who is six years old and adopted from a shelter, is now being called the savior of the family.

“He saved our lives. He’s a rescue dog that we rescued, and he turned around and rescued us,” Alex Esarco said.

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