The family's dog, realizing something was very wrong, got the household's attention in time to avert a tragedy.

If there's anything we're suckers for--it's a hero dog (or cat, in rare instances). A Rockford family can thank their dog's early morning alert for saving their lives.

It happened this morning around 3am just off of Sandy Hollow Road.

Firetrucks lined Jacqueline Drive around 3 a.m. That's just east of Sandy Hollow Golf Course. Crews on scene told us the fire started in the basement. It's still unclear what sparked it, though.

The family dog alerted the occupants to the fire, and was rescued from the building.

The two adults and two kids inside at the time made it out safely, but had to be treated on scene for breathing in smoke.

Smoke detectors were present but not operational at the time of the fire.

As you're probably aware, there are lots of heroic dogs out there, saving lives every day: