One person hurt, two cats missing after Davenport house fire; two strangers are being called heroes

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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - An adult male was taken to the hospital and two dogs were rescued after a house fire Saturday, according to the Davenport Fire Department.

“We seen this house in flames and fire so we came back down the street and called 911 immediately because we didn't know who was in the house,” Athena Owens told TV6 anchor and reporter Chris Carter after helping alert the two people inside the home near E 10th and LeClaire Road in Davenport.

Davenport Fire Department District Chief Paul Hartman said the call came in around 11:30 Saturday night. When firefighters arrived at the home, smoke and flames were coming from the back of the home. The two occupants of the home were able to get out thanks to Owens and her boyfriend, Dave Smith.

"I had to break the window to let everybody know that the house was on fire so when I did that, they ran out,” Smith said.

One of the people inside the home, Veronica Porter, said she and her husband, George, were asleep when the fire broke out. Veronica said her husband was sleeping downstairs while recovering from shoulder surgery. After being alerted to the fire, Veronica says George ran back inside the home to rescue two dogs but was overcome by the smoke. Hartman said Porter was taken to the hospital for treatment. Firefighters were able to rescue the two dogs. Two cats are still missing.

"Luckily we woke the people up that were inside sleeping and called 911 and luckily they were able to put the fire out,” Owens said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but Porter believes it started in the back of the home near the kitchen in her “smoking room”. Porter said she does not know Smith and Owens, who were able to alert them to the fire, but Porter did want to thank them.

“They saved our lives,” she said. “They are our hero. They broke the window and got us out of the home.”

Owens and Smith said they were on their way home from a friend's home when they noticed the fire. They believe they were in the right place at the right time.

"I am still shaken right now,” Owens said “The way the flames were coming up and to know that people were inside sleeping. Man, God is good. I feel like God used us tonight."

A Davenport Firefighter had to be treated at the scene after being overcome by the heat. He is expected to be okay.