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Fire Destroys Belleville Family's Home


July 18, 2019

Photo courtesy of the Belleville Fire Department

On Sunday July 14, 2019, the family of Amanda Popenfus was awakened by their dog, Waylan, who alerted them to a fire in the home.

In an interview with NBC-15, Amanda Popenfus said of the 3-year-old Lab, Mastiff and Cane Corso mix, "I rescued him, he rescued me." Popenfus added that there was not any smoke in the house at the time Waylan woke them.

"A dog's sense of smell is exponentially greater than the human's sense of smell," says Chanse Kaczmarski, Deputy Fire Chief with the Belleville Volunteer Fire Department. "So that dog could probably smell that fire burning long before any human would have detected it."

The house is considered a total loss, estimated at $400,000. There were no injuries to firefighters. At press time, the cause of the fire has not been determined. The Belleville Fire Department was assisted by the following fire departments: Verona, Fitchburg, New Glarus, Mount Horeb, Monticello, Town of Madison, Albany, Brooklyn Fire and Belleville EMS. The fire department is accepting cash or gift card donations at the fire station, and will give them to the family.

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