Dog alerts couple to fire that destroyed house; fundraiser planned

Homeowners were Heidelberg police chief, Spring Ridge principal

Dog helps couple escape burning home

MILLCREEK TWP., Pa. - A local police chief and a school principal have their dog to thank for alerting them to a fire that destroyed their home and much of what they own.

As their home on Cottage Lane in Millcreek Twp., Lebanon Co., was going up in flames Thursday morning, it was their dog, Lily, who alerted the couple to the fire.

Mike Boyer and Caroline diCenso were asleep when Lily alerted them to the danger.

Boyer is chief of the Heidelberg Twp., Berks Co., police department; diCenso is principal of the Spring Ridge Elementary School in the Wilson School District.

Virtually everything was destroyed in the couple's home.

Detective Joseph Brown, president of the Berks County Fraternal Order of Police, has been helping the couple keep their spirits up.

"My concern was for their safety, number one, and then number two, helping them out in every way we could, because that's what our job was, to help others," said Det. Brown.

Many are also grateful that Lily jumped into action when she did because Mike, Caroline and their others dogs, were all able to escape the fire just before the roof collapsed.

"It's a great story, thought, the fact that it could have been extremely tragic had it not been for the dog, and for their quick actions to get out of the house before that happened," said Brown.

The Berks County Fraternal Order of Police has organized a fundraising dinner for the couple. It's scheduled for next Friday, May 24, from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. at the Berks Lodge #71 social club, 776 Mt. Laurel Ave., in Temple. The cost is $25 per person and includes a buffet and beverages. Tickets can be bought at the door.

Spring Ridge Elementary is also accepting donations for the couple. Checks can be made payable to Caroline diCenso and either dropped off at the school or mailed to 1211 Broadcasting Road, Wyomissing, Pa. 19610.

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