Grosse Pointe Woods officer saves pet from burning Harper Woods home

By: K. Michelle Moran | C&G Newspapers | Published December 14, 2021

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HARPER WOODS/GROSSE POINTE WOODS — A family pet was saved from a house fire thanks to the quick response of a member of the Grosse Pointe Woods Public Safety Department.

Grosse Pointe Woods Public Safety Director John Kosanke said Grosse Pointe Woods Sgt. Tony Chalut was on patrol and close to the site of the fire when a call went out about smoke coming from a home in the 20000 block of Lancaster Street in Harper Woods just after 10 p.m. Dec. 11. 

“When he pulled out, there were flames coming out of the (upstairs) windows,” Kosanke said.

He said Chalut looked inside a living room window and didn’t see any people, but he did spot a small dog whose leash was secured to a piece of exercise equipment. Chalut pounded on the front door to see if anyone was inside, but after getting no response, he kicked in the door. 

“He was petrified,” Chalut said of the pooch, which he believes was a terrier mix. “I just grabbed him and got out.”

Kosanke said no one was in the house at the time and there were no injuries reported from the incident. He said the homeowner arrived on the scene after officers began battling the blaze. Chalut was able to reunite the homeowner with his pet.

“It was a job well done,” Kosanke said of Chalut’s rescue. “Because of his quick action, he was able to save that small canine.”

Chalut said he has always had dogs himself, so he’s very familiar with the special bond between dogs and their people.

“As a dog lover, I felt very grateful I was able to do that,” Chalut said of the rescue.

Kosanke said the scene ended up being a three-alarm fire, with Grosse Pointe Farms also arriving to lend assistance. A frozen hydrant and water main break complicated firefighting efforts.

“There was some extensive damage” to the house, Kosanke said.

The public safety departments of the five Grosse Pointes and Harper Woods have a mutual aid pact in which they assist each other during emergencies.

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