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Published: Friday, 2/22/2008

Police chief, passerby help free man from Erie Township blaze

ERIE, Mich. A man escaped his burning home yesterday after a passerby who reported the fire pounded on a window and Erie Township Police Chief Bill Hines kicked opened a door, authorities said.

John Godlewski was sleeping in his home at 9726 South Dixie Hwy. about 9 a.m. when the passerby, whose name was unavailable, saw smoke, township fire Capt. John Baldwin said.

Chief Hines said he knew Mr. Godlewski worked nights and likely was sleeping, so he kicked open the door and encountered Mr. Godlewski as he was trying to flee the home, which was engulfed in flames.

Mr. Godlewski s dog died in the blaze.

The two-story home was destroyed. A cause of the fire was under investigation, Captain Baldwin said.

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