JOHNS ISLAND — A chocolate Labrador named Princess helped her family escape from their burning home this morning.
Firefighters responded to a fire call at 1531 Burnswick Dr. about 3:30 a.m. and saw smoke coming from the single-story house.
Princess alerted the family members in time for them to escape the home. Firefighters put out the fire and rescued the dog, according to St. Johns Fire and Rescue Capt. James Ghi.
Family members were taken to a local hospital to be evaluated for possible smoke inhalation. They were released a short time later and Princess was unharmed.
"The dog woke them up," Ghi said. "The dog's pretty much a hero."
St. Johns, James Island and Charleston firefighters all responded. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Ghi said the home was equipped with smoke alarms but the residents disconnected the alarm nearest the bedrooms because it kept going off while they were cooking, Ghi said.
Ghi urged everyone to make sure their smoke alarms are in working order. An alarm should not be disconnected for any reason, he said.
"That's something you should never, ever do," Ghi said.