Cop whose dog alerted him to house fire returns to work

A Maitland police officer, who also serves as a school resource officer, returned to work about six weeks after his home was destroyed by fire.

Officer Josh Rotarius credits his own dog for saving his life after he says lightning struck his house and caused a fire. “Started a fire in the attic, and obviously it moved to the rest of the house,” Rotarious told FOX 35 News last month.

He said he was sleeping when lightning struck his house. It was actually her dog, Null, who caught her eye as smoke filled the house on July 1. “He was making some sort of weird noise that wasn’t common for him. So it kind of woke me up.” When Joshua opened his eyes, he said he couldn’t see or breathe. “I managed to get him out of his crate after I got pretty low.” After pulling Null out of his cage, both escaped the fire.

Maitland Police Constable Joshua Rotarius with his dog.

Rotarius, a school resource officer at Dommerich Elementary School, suffered from smoke inhalation as well as burns to his hands and feet


Rotarius said he was living in a temporary residence while sorting out the insurance process to help rebuild his home. A GoFundMe account has been set up by friends and colleagues in Central Florida to help Rotarius.