‘Smart stove’ helps save five pets’ lives in Courtdale fire

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COURTDALE, Pa. (WBRE/WYOU) — New technology is known to save lives.

But there’s one example you probably would never think of: A kitchen stove. It worked so well, five golden retrievers were able to escape a house fire.

Donna Zomerfeld has lived in her home in Courtdale for 40 years. She recently purchased a new high-tech stove that can be controlled remotely through an app. Little did she know just how important that stove would become.

Zomerfeld was at work Tuesday evening when she got a frantic call from her granddaughter.

“She said, ‘you need to get home immediately, the house is on fire!'” Zomerfeld said.

Her granddaughter received alerts on her phone from the smart stove in Zomerfeld’s kitchen, saying something was wrong with the device. They called for help and Zomerfeld raced home where her beloved golden retrievers and her cats were trapped inside.

“I knew that my granddaughter was safe because she was out. That was my main concern, to get home and try to save them if I could, in any way possible,” Zomerfeld said.

By the time she got home, neighbors had already kicked in her door and brought four of the dogs to safety. The fifth dog, who was in her crate, was found and rescued once firefighters started knocking down the fire. Her cats also escaped the blaze.

“I was just ecstatic, it was just a miracle that any of them survived really. The blind is all shredded and apparently, they feel that it was the dogs trying to get out because they knew that something was wrong,” Zomerfeld said.

The fire originated in the kitchen and spread to the second floor. Somehow, one of the knobs on the Samsung electric smart stove got turned to ‘high.’ The damage to her home is severe, but her family and her precious animals are safe. Zomerfeld says she’s thankful for technology, and her kind neighbors.

“You can replace material things, you can’t replace lives or pet’s lives. And that’s what really mattered,” Zomerfeld said.

Zomerfeld and the dogs are staying with relatives until the home is repaired.

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