PEARL RIVER, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Rockland County family lost everything when a fire destroyed their home on Monday.
Their dog is also missing, but they’re hopeful he made it out alive. Now, their community is rallying to help them find their beloved pet.
A heap of burned clothing and flooring sat on the family’s Pearl River lawn on Tuesday. Their cars sat charred in the driveway, with not much left of the house the Loughrans have called home for the past 30 years.
Authorities say a pipe from a wood-burning stove sparked the Monday afternoon blaze. John Loughran’s 91-year-old mother-in-law is in the hospital with burns and Barrett, the family dog, is missing.
“He looks like a scary dog but he’s a real baby,” he said. “When my wife’s father passed away six and a half years ago, we got the dog to keep my mother-in-law company and my wife.”
The 140 pound American bull mastiff is described as shy, even skittish. Loughran thinks the smoke and flames scared him away.
“My mother-in-law came out the front door so I’m hoping he shot out the front door too, or the back door, and just ran off,” he said said.
Loughran says he’s devastated by the fire by this fire, but he also feels fortunate that his entire family survived. He’s hopeful that includes Barrett, and he says he just needs help getting him back.
“I’ve been in the house and I’ve looked as best I can and I don’t see him so I hope he’s out there and if somebody has him, take care of him,” he said.
Loughran’s daughter posted pictures of the pup on Facebook and asked her friends to keep an eye out for him. Neighbors and fellow dog owners are helping to look for the dog, saying it’s what they would want people to do for them.
“I would be so happy if that was the one thing that I could have from losing everything to having my dog come back home,” neighbor Susan Arlia said. “That would make me ecstatic.”
Even people who don’t know the Loughrans are reposting Barrett’s photo and keeping the family in their thoughts.
“It’s so sad and I know like, the whole town is praying for them,” Pearl River resident Lauren Sullivan said.
Loughran says Barrett might answer to his name, but he’ll definitely come running if you offer him treats. Anyone who sees the dog or has any information is urged to call Orangetown Police.