If you don't think every dog has his day, you don't know Jack.
Around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jack, a 2-year-old shepherd-pit bull mix, smelled danger in his house on the 1400 block of North Alden Street in West Philly.
A fire had broken out in a back bedroom of the house, where one of his seven human roommates was sleeping. Jack licked the woman sleeping in the bedroom to awaken her and got his entire family out of the house, said the homeowner, Aubrey Lomax Jr.
"He is definitely a hero dog," Lomax, 52, said. "He's a blessing in disguise."
Lomax lives at his home with his three children, one of their girlfriends, and his three young grandchildren.
"We all got out of there, that is the main thing," he said.
Unfortunately, one of the family's two cats died in the blaze, the cause of which remains under investigation, Lomax said.
Jennifer Leary, founder of Red Paw Emergency Relief Team, which provides services to displaced animals, said when her team arrived at the scene of the fire, the family and Jack were already outside.
"When we walked up, the first thing they said to us was, 'He saved our lives! He saved our lives! He's our hero,' " Leary said.
Leary said it's not the first time she's seen humans crediting their furry family members with saving their skin.
"You'd be surprised how often we hear that," Leary said. "Not just dogs — cats do it too."
Leary said Jack and the surviving cat will be boarded at Red Paws' shelter until Lomax and his family find housing. Lomax said his house suffered smoke, fire and water damage and that the Red Cross has reached out to assist his family.