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Man, mistaken for burglar, rescues Clayton family from fire

August 25, 2016

An electrical fire early Wednesday morning in Clayton destroyed a car and damaged a house, forcing a pregnant woman, her child and four dogs out of the home.

The fire was initially reported as a vehicle fire, said Clayton Deputy Fire Chief Jason Dean, but investigators later said the fire was caused by an electrical problem in an outlet next to the driveway.

In a 911 call, neighbor Mark Pra told the dispatcher that he was trying to wake the family, who were not yet aware that their house was on fire. He then kicked in the back door and rushed in to help clear the family out.

“My only thought was, they got to get out of the house,” said Pra.

People in the neighborhood called Pra a hero, but the people inside the home initially thought he was something else.

“She called 911 because she thought someone was trying to break into her house,” Pra said.

911 operators helped the homeowner realize that there was no break-in and she needed to get out of her house.

Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the front of the home, officials said. There was no damage to neighboring homes.

“It could have been a lot worse than it was,” Pra said. “Obviously there is a lot of house damage, but this could have been a disaster.”

No injuries were reported.