MERIDIAN - Heroes come in all shapes and sizes - even dog size.

Eleven-year-old Jaxson the pug was hailed as a hero at a Meridian city council meeting Tuesday night after he saved his family by alerting them to a house fire.

Owner Todd Lavoie said he was upstairs using his computer the night of Aug. 29 when he heard the pug barking in an "irregular tone and cadence." At first, he ignored it. But when the barking continued, Lavoie said, he headed downstairs to check it out.

"He was actually barking at an outlet, which is very odd," Lavoie said.

But as Jaxon's owner got closer, he realized the cause of the pug's alarm: Sparks were shooting from the outlet.

The sparks quickly morphed into flames, which Lavoie tried to extinguish with a towel before running to get a fire extinguisher and shut off the power to the house.

"During this entire time, the fire alarms were still going off, the dog was still barking at the outlet," he said.

After dousing the flames, Lavoie called the fire department to make sure the house was safe, he said.

The pug's owner said he has no doubt Jaxon's early alarm headed off a potential disaster.

"He was notifying me that, hey, something is wrong in the house," he said.

Because of his actions, Jaxson is the first dog to be awarded the Meridian Hometown Hero Award.The City of Meridian's Hometown Hero Award honors outstanding bravery by a person - or a pug.

Lavoie joked that the incident should spur fire departments to rethink the breed of their dog mascots.

"Dalmatians get all the glory, but maybe pugs do all the work," he said.