The family dog that alarmed the Raymonds about the fire that consumed their home.
It was the family dog that alarmed the Raymonds about the fire that ended up consuming their home and their vehicles on Wednesday, Dec. 4, in Seminole Woods.
Ruger started barking at 1:30 a.m. It was an unusual and consistent bark that got Chad Raymond out of bed. He walked around to find smoke coming out of the kitchen area. He unplugged the refrigerator, and when he heard the crackling and popping coming out of the garage, he knew that there was an "actual fire" in the garage.
In a matter of seconds, he woke up his wife, Mimi, who woke up their sons, Luke and Logan. They brought out their dog, Ruger, while Chad Raymond called 911 and collected a few items, including his wallet. The smoke detectors did not go off until they were already out of the house, watching the fire with deputies from the Flagler County Sheriff's Office.
"It could've been too late," Chad Raymond said.
Building codes in Florida do not require smoke detectors in the garage or attics, and according to their adjusters and insurance, it is not uncommon for fires to start in those places.
Mimi Raymond looks down as she talks about the emotional journey and the possessions she lost that had sentimental value, such as handmade Christmas ornaments, photo albums and memorabilia from her mother.
Ruger, who was the biggest puppy from the litter, has gotten a big bone as a reward, and he is considered the "hero" of the story.
But, many other heroes have come to help and support during this hectic and overwhelming time for the family. Andrew Trotter with AWT, Gary and Pam Roberts with CCI Construction, Deputy Benjamin Jurek with Sheriff's Office, Principal Lisa O'Grady with Imagine School at Town Center, Trademark Realty Group, the Seminole Woods community, and the Flagler Beach Fire Department.
"We are overwhelmed by the good that has come out of the tragic moment," Chad Raymond said. "We are humbled and grateful."
As for Christmas, Mimi Raymond said, "We are taking one step at a time."
Flagler Beach Fire Department Lt. Timothy Conroy helped to provide immediate relief for the family, but nothing more is needed at this time.