Pets killed in house fire, cause investigated

Firefighters extinguish a fire at this home on Exchange Street near Division Avenue in Wyoming. (Jan. 31, 2014)

WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) – Two dogs and a cat were killed early Friday morning in a house fire in Wyoming, and fire investigators say an extension cord is the focus of their investigation.

The fire sparked at the home on Exchange Street near Division Avenue around 1 a.m. as the homeowners, who were staying elsewhere, were trying to keep their pets warm with a generator. Their power had been shut off by Consumers Energy on Wednesday.

Fire crews arrived at the house after a neighbor smelled smoke and called 911, according to Wyoming Fire Chief Robert Austin. At that point, the home was already ablaze.

Austin said the homeowners placed the generator where it should have been – outside the house.

But investigators are looking at the extension cords that ran through the back door and could have gotten pinched or shorted out.

Austin said there’s a lesson to be learned about extension cord use.

“With the extension cords, if you’re using those, watch how you’re putting them, Austin warned. “Just the same as you’re using any extension cord in a house – if you put them in a doorway, they can pinch, they can break – they can short out and cause a fire that way.”

In addition to the loss of the two dogs and a cat – and a still unaccounted-for kitten – the damage to the home could cost up to $60,000.

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