ST. GEORGE — A fire that started Tuesday afternoon in a storage shed between two trailer homes in northern St. George left a kitchen destroyed in one home and some smoke damage in the other, but damaged something much more valuable: a man’s best friend.
While the home that was damaged the most was unoccupied at the time, St. George Fire Chief Robert Stoker said firefighters forced their way in after they heard a report that the owner’s pet of 15 years was still inside, as flames moved up along the side and smoke filled the dwelling.
Inside, they found the dog overcome by the smoke, and they tried to save it using pet CPR equipment that had previously been donated to the department.
“We tried to resuscitate and perform pet CPR through a pet kit but the pet succumbed to their injuries,” Stoker told St. George News, adding that even though it may be just an animal to some, those on scene were still shaken – especially when the owner arrived to find out their companion of more than a decade was lost in the fire. “It’s still sad to see, especially as the owners arrived.”
A neighbor in a third home suffered from minor smoke inhalation but was treated quickly at the scene. Other neighbors had to be evacuated in the closely packed neighborhood of prefabricated homes, with one saying that their home was just filled with smoke.
Stoker said the cause of the fire is still under investigation. It started in the shed between the two homes at 698 and 700 N. 1060 East not far from Industrial Road.
St. George Fire Station 21 arrived quickly, according to witnesses, with a ladder truck engaged to fight the fire from above. Firefighters from Station 28 also arrived to assist, while St. George Police also provided an on-scene presence and closed off streets nearby to traffic. St. George Animal Control was also on hand to assist after the report of the animal inside.
Tom Moore, a neighbor across the street, said he called 911 after seeing the shed burning and said St. George Fire arrived quickly.
“It could have been really bad, but they got here fast,” Moore said. “I saw their car was gone so I knew no one was home but their pit bull was still inside.”
The fire, first reported around 3:47 p.m., was mostly out by 4:10 p.m., with firefighters doing some extra hosing off under the trailer with the most damage – the insulation on its side where the kitchen was burned and ripped off.
Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.