Lafayette firefighters responded to a report of a fire early Saturday morning in the 300 block of Zim Road. When fire crews arrived on the scene they noticed smoke coming from structure and flames reaching out of the front of the building. Fortunately, the residents of the duplex had already made their way to safety.

A spokesperson for LFD said the blaze was brought under control in about 15 minutes. However, damage to the structure was significant. Both sides of the duplex suffered damage from smoke and water and the two residents who shared the duplex were displaced.

A family pet was killed in the blaze. But that pet is being credited with saving the lives to the two residents. Fire investigators say the barking dog awakened one of the residents who then attempted to put out the flames but to no avail.

Investigators believe the cause of the fire was a cigarette. More specifically a lit cigarette dropped onto a mattress. Fire investigators believe the lit cigarette was dropped onto the mattress when one of the elderly residents of the duplex fell asleep while smoking. Investigators ruled the cause of the fire to be accidental.