Nine pets die in South Windsor fire, one survives

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Sep 17, 2013 in Rat News | Subscribe

A family returned to their South Windsor home Sunday morning to discover that a fire had killed nine of their 10 pets.

According to chief fire prevention officer Lee Tome, the fire at a house in the 3400 block of Longfellow Avenue went out by itself  by the time the residents arrived home at about 11 a.m.

“The fire self-extinguished and I can’t exactly say why, but I’m assuming that it ran out of oxygen or fuel – probably oxygen – and it put itself out,” said Tome.

The family of seven was out at the time but their pets – one dog, one cat, four kittens, a bird and three pet rats – were home.

All of the animals but the dog died as a result of the fire, according to Red Cross Windsor-Essex disaster management co-ordinator Donna Girard.

Red Cross is providing temporary housing for the displaced family as there was heavy smoke damage throughout the house. The surviving dog is staying with a neighbour, said Girard.

The fire originated in the kitchen and it was contained there,  said Tome. He said the pets probably died as a result of smoke inhalation.

“I don’t believe they were burned,” Tome said.

By the time the residents arrived  home and fire crews arrived, Tome it was too late to save nine of the animals.

Girard said the family is emotionally shaken  from discovering their dead pets.

“It’s quite the tragedy,” said Girard. “When you lose a pet, you lose a part of your family.”
A fire investigator attended the scene and deemed the cause as undetermined, said Tome.

While the fire began in the kitchen of the residence, Tome said it is unclear if it started on the stovetop or near the stovetop.

“There was no grease involved, so there wasn’t a pot of grease on the stove or anything like that,” said Tome.
Damage is estimated at $90,000.

Tome said the family of seven was renting the single-family dwelling.

The tenant was issued a ticket for $235 for not having working smoke alarms on every floor of the home, said Tome.

“No one was home at the time, so we’re fortunate that no persons were injured, but unfortunately pets passed away in this,” said Tome. “The only thing we could have hoped for is if somebody passing by heard a smoke alarm. It’s always a good idea to check your smoke alarms and make sure they’re in working order.”

Girard said a restoration company was onsite Sunday to make the house liveable.  She said the landlord was onsite as well and is trying to find suitable accommodations for the family until they can return home.

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