Cold cats prompt house fire
CREATED Jan. 12, 2013
Web Producer: Taylor Higgins
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - In an attempt to keep several cats warm overnight, one Tucson family set their house on fire.
Northwest firefighters responded to the 6700 block of north Starshine Drive, near Thornydale Road and Orange Grove Road, just before 8:00 a.m. Saturday after reports of a house fire, according to Capt. Adam Goldberg with the Northwest Fire Department.
Crews hurried to the scene and found heavy smoke coming from the attic vents in the home, Goldberg said.
Goldberg tells KGUN9 that firefighters were able to extinguish the fire within 14 minutes.
A husband and wife and their two sons were home at the time of the fire, along with six cats and several birds, but everyone was able to escape the home safely, Goldberg said.
Once fire investigators began looking for the cause of the fire, they discovered that the homeowners set up a heat lamp and blankets on their back patio to keep several cats warm throughout the night.
Goldberg said the lamp must have fallen onto the blankets or the blankets were too close to the heat source. Either way, a fire started and traveled up the back side of the house and into the attic, causing roughly $15,000 in damage.
The Northwest Fire Community Assistance Team and the Southern Arizona Red Cross responded to assist the family with housing needs, Goldberg said. The family will be displaced until repairs to the house can be made.
The Northwest Fire Department urges the community to be fire conscience when taking precautions against the cold weather.
· Always use caution when using open heat sources near combustibles.
· Leave three feet of space when using interior space heaters and never leave a heat source on
when not awake and present in the room.
· Never leave open flames such as candles or fireplaces on when not awake or present.
· Ensure there are working smoke detectors in the home
· Use caution with electrical extension cords and exterior warming lamps.