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Dog survives, but fire destroys home

Sat., Nov. 24, 2007, midnight

Bond the dog began to revive after several minutes under an oxygen mask. Sadly, his owner’s home didn’t fare as well in a blaze Friday afternoon.

Firefighters battled the house fire at 1511 W. Gardner Ave., but the home will probably be a total loss, Spokane Fire Chief Bobby Williams said.

A neighbor pulled out Bond after a firefighter kicked in the door.

The dog’s owner was not home, Williams said.

“The first crews on scene found smoke showing. They went in and had fire on the first floor” of the two-story home, Williams said. “They knocked down that fire, but there was so much debris in the home they had trouble finding the stairwell to the second floor.

“By the time they got up there, the fire was too much. So we decided to pull them out and started to fight the fire from outside,” he said.

The fire appears to have started in the rear of the home. Williams said it will be some time before investigators determine a cause.

“We had a live power line come down in the backyard, and it limited what we could do,” Williams said.

Officials closed the northbound lanes of the Maple Street Bridge for some time and about 100 neighbors came out in the bone-chilling cold to watch the billowing plume of dirty smoke.

Firefighters used chain saws to cut holes through the roof in an attempt to ventilate the attic. But flames poured out of the holes and out the back of the 101-year-old house that county records show is owned by Robert and Christina Horner.

Crews worked into the evening making sure the fire had gone out.

Lilly Van Camp, 14, was home watching her two brothers when she heard firetrucks pull up in front of their home, just east of the fire.

“We looked out our window and saw flames coming out of the window next door,” Lilly said. “There is a tree right outside our window. We thought it was going to catch and light our house on fire.”

Neighbor Bob Rutter heard the commotion and walked outside. He approached the burning home as a firefighter kicked in the front door.

“Bond was laying just inside the door, so I went in after him,” said Rutter, as he held an oxygen mask on the pooch’s face and stroked his head. “At first he wasn’t breathing. But now he’s getting a lot more alert.”

Bond, a full-size dog of unknown lineage, had a burned snout and soiled fur but otherwise appeared OK.

“It’s a really good dog,” Rutter said. “He minds really well. He’s like one of the family.”


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