A one-year-old puppy in Winnipeg is being hailed a hero after its barks drew attention to a house fire and triggered rescue efforts for the people sleeping inside.

Paige Kozak and her husband Kevin were sleeping in a St. Vital home, when their one-year-old puppy Luna let out some urgent barks in the middle of the night.

"She's not a barker, she'll bark once a week when she gets really excited about the ball but it's an unusual circumstance. So I definitely think she must have smelled smoke," Kevin told CTV Winnipeg on Friday.

The one-year-old miniature golden doodle -- a cross between a golden retriever and a miniature poodle -- normally sleeps peacefully through the night, so Paige initially assumed the dog needed to go outside for a bathroom break. She got up to take Luna outside while Kevin continued to sleep.

But when Paige opened the door to let Luna out, a cloud of smoke immediately filled the entrance and she realized something was very wrong -- the neighbour's house and back deck were on fire while two people slept inside, unaware of the danger.

Paige yelled to Kevin for help, and he quickly ran outside to assist. While Paige called 911, Kevin jumped the fence between the two homes and began using a bucket to throw water on the flames until fire crews arrived to put out the fire.

Kevin then flagged down the fire truck and helped firefighters access the house -- still unaware that there were people inside.

In fact, the two occupants of the home didn't awaken until fire fighters alerted them to the danger.

"We didn't find out until this morning that there were actually people in there and we thought oh god, we're really lucky Luna woke us up and I think they're fairly happy as well that all that happened," Kevin said.

The couple plans to reward Luna with a long walk in the park