05/25/2012 01:01 pm ET Updated May 25, 2012

Plainfield Dog Credited With Alerting Family To Fire, Helping Them Escape (VIDEO)

An Illinois family's golden lab is being credit with helping his owners escape from a fire in their home late Thursday night.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Peyton started barking loudly and woke up the family's two children around 11:45 p.m. Thursday, after a fire had broken out in the back of the house in the 16000 block of South River Road in Plainfield, Ill.

The children woke up their mother, who was sleeping not far from where the fire started, and the family was able to escape their burning home.

Sharon Berger, owner of the house, told the Chicago Sun-Times that she suspects the fire started after her sons -- Alex, 13, and Matthew, 9 -- used their backyard fire pit the previous day. A smoldering ember, Berger suspects, may have been responsible for the blaze.

High wind gusts in the area may have whipped up the fire and caused it to spread to the house, according to CBS Chicago.

Though their lives were saved, their home was considerably damaged: Plainfield Deputy Fire Chief Jon Stratton told NBC Chicago that the fire caused between $350,000 and $400,000 in damage.

Still, the incident could have turned out far worse had Peyton -- named after Peyton Manning, Alex's favorite football player -- not intervened.

"If the dog wouldn’t have alerted them, I truly believe there’s no way they get out of that building because it happened so fast and that fire ran through that building so fast," Stratton told CBS. "The dog was a hero here."

The Sun-Times reports that donations for the family are being accepted at Century 21 Pro Team, 15105 S. James St., in Plainfield.