GERMANTOWN, Md. (WJZ) — A pet German Shepherd in Montgomery County is being hailed a hero Wednesday after he woke up a family of four and alerted them to a fire that caused some major damage to their home.

Eight-year-old Max started barking when the fire started.

“It was an alarm technically, he was very desperate trying to say something, get our attention, get out,” said homeowner Miriam Rodriguez.

Firefighters said the dog woke up the homeowners Monday night along Neerwinder St in Germantown. There was no smoke in the house, so the fire alarms hadn’t activated.

All four people inside the home got out safely, Rodriguez alerted her sleeping husband and two adult sons, but the flames caused an estimated $425,000 in damage.

“Seeing everything you have worked for burning down in minutes, that was the sad part,” Rodriguez said.

Days after the fire the family is still grateful, and all safe including Max. But their cat Lucy is still missing, she made it out the night of the fire but hasn’t been seen since.

“She’s very friendly, she must be scared because she hasn’t come back yet,” Rodriguez said.

Investigators said the fire started in the metal flue and fireplace of the home.

A home nearly destroyed, a pet missing but the family is thankful for their marvelous friend named Max.

“If I can call him a hero, I personally think that he’s our hero, he saved our lives,” Rodriguez said.

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