Dog named Smokey likely caused Ranchos blaze
November 26, 2016
A dog named Smokey may have caused a fire that forced a Gardnerville Ranchos family from their home on Saturday.
Firefighters responded to the fire at 1:07 p.m. at 817 Galena Court to find heavy smoke pouring out of the front of the home.
"Initial crews were met with heavy smoke conditions throughout the structure causing zero visibility conditions, "Battalion Chief Troy Valenzuela said. "As they made entry, they found heavy fire in the kitchen area which had extended to the attic."
Working quickly, firefighters were able to limit the fire to the home's kitchen area, with the fire's forward progress stopped within 15 minutes. However major smoke damage rendered the home uninhabitable.
Crews from Stations 14, 4, 7, and 2 worked approximately three hours before turning the house over to homeowner.
"Assistance from the local Red Cross representative was also very helpful," Valenzuela said.
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He pointed out that this is the fourth structure fire in a two week stretch.
East Fork Fire Investigator Capt. Terry Taylor said the fire definitely started on the glass top electric stove.
Smokey, who had just been adopted from the Douglas County Animal Shelter, had a habit of getting into trash cans, Taylor said.
The family placed the can and several other items they wanted Smokey to stay out of on the cooktop.
"The stove wasn't on when they left at 10 a.m.," Taylor said. "I think the dog was jumping up there to get at something, and if you hit the knob it turns on the stove."
Smokey succumbed in the fire, but a second family dog survived.
Taylor said the Douglas Animal Welfare Group folks took a paw print from Smokey and put together a shadow box for the family.