Police say a dog helped save its owner's life in a fire that destroyed a home in the eastern Newfoundland community of Markland early Thursday morning.

"The owner awoke to the loud and consistent bark of his dog. He ignored the bark at first, however soon realized that something must be wrong. The owner then went to open the door and found it to be hot to touch.  When he opened the door he could see the flames and the smoke," said RCMP Cpl. Blaine Beaumaster.

The 38-year-old man left the home but then realized the dog, a German shepherd – husky mix, wasn't with him.

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This dog is being credited with saving its owner's life. ((Cal Tobin/ CBC))

"He had to go back in and get the dog," said Beaumaster. "Both escaped without injury or smoke inhalation."

The fire broke out shortly after midnight. Police said the Whitbourne volunteer fire department extinguished it by 4:30 a.m.

The cause of the fire had not been determined by early Thursday afternoon.