CAPE MAY — Delaware Avenue resident Peter Dudley helped save his neighbor’s house and their mixed breed dog Sky on Friday afternoon.

It was one time where it was a good idea to let the dog out.

Dudley was mowing his lawn on Friday afternoon when he noticed the house across the street, owned by John and Patricia Meehan, was on fire. The Meehans were not home but their golden retriever-German shephard mix was. Dudley let the dog out, called the Fire Department and grabbed a garden hose.

“The Fire Department was here in three or four minutes. Three to four minutes seems like a long time when you’re fighting a fire with a garden house,” said Dudley, a worker at the Cape-May Lewes Ferry.

His wife, Debbie, called Patricia Meehan.

“I was at the dentist’s office about to leave. Debbie called and said. ‘Don’t get upset but your house is on fire,’” said Patricia Meehan.

The fire, called in at 2:32 p.m., is being termed accidental by Cape May Fire Chief Jerry Inderwies, who said it appears to have started in a trash can behind the house and gone up the back wall and into the eaves. It caused minimal damage to the home but could have been much worse without a quick response. Firefighters from Cape May, Villas, Town Bank, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Cape May County Fire Marshall’s Office responded.

The origin of the fire, possibly in the trash can, is under investigation.

Contact Richard Degener:

609-463-6711