TABERNACLE, N.J. — A New Jersey firefighter answered an emergency dispatch only to find his own home going up in flames.

Volunteer firefighter Jason Penwell lost all his family’s belongings and one dog in the fire at his Tabernacle home on Wednesday afternoon, The Courier-Post reported .

His son, a high school freshman, noticed the blaze around 3:30 p.m. as he was returning from school. Penwell said his son saved the other five family dogs with the help of his friends.

Firefighters from several departments spent an hour putting out the fire. No injuries were reported.

Penwell was at the Tabernacle firehouse at the time of the blaze, and he said he “never thought” it could be his home when he answered the call.

The firefighter’s two-story home was a total loss, according to Tabernacle Fire Chief Dave Smith. The home was bulldozed Wednesday evening.

“Of course we are all upset,” Penwell told the newspaper Thursday. “But today is day one of recovery.”

An online fundraiser has since raised more than $10,000 to help the Penwell family. Penwell is an active-duty Air Force technical sergeant, and the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst planned housing for his family Friday.

The cause of the blaze is still under investigation.


Information from: Courier-Post (Cherry Hill, N.J.), http://www.courierpostonline.com/

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