Eight Puppies Rescued From
By Mary Kauffman
June 16, 2008
Ketchikan, Alaska - An investigation is still underway to determine
the cause of a fire that erupted at the Woodland Avenue home
of Cammy and Martin Smith on Saturday. No one was home at the
time of the fire; however, there were two adult dogs and eight
puppies in the home at the time the fire started.
Cammy and Martin Smith's
home at 1067 Woodland Avenue.
Photograph by Cindy Balzer
Ketchikan Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Jim Hill said
the two adults dogs were upstairs and were able to exit the home
by apparently using dog doors that were installed. However, Misty
Archibald, a friend of the Smiths, said that Ralph Bolton Jr.
broke down a door to the burning house to let the mother dog
out. "Who knows how it may have turned out if [Bolton] hadn't
done that," said Archibald.
The eight puppies were rescued
by staff from the Ketchikan Fire Department and Ketchikan Police
Hill said the eight puppies
were locked up in the basement inside a fenced-in area. Hill
said when he reached inside he was hoping the pups didn't bite
as they were large pups. But the pups were ready to be rescued.
Hill said, "When I reached inside, the first one jumped
right in my arms. Then I reached in again and felt around and
another one jumped in."
Then the count started. Hill
said, "We went one - two - three.... and we counted one
through eight and I said, how many pups did she say there were?"
The response to his question was eight. "Good, let's get
out of here," said Hill.
One of the rescued
pups being carried from the home.
Photograph by Bill Meck
It will be up to the insurance company to determine the status
of the damage to the house said Assistant Fire Chief Hill. He
said the fire had a good running start before the firefighters
arrived and the water used to extinguish the fire added to the
damage. Hill said the fire and smoke damage was on the main floor
to the kitchen, living room, and bedrooms. He said there was
significant water and smoke damage to the upstairs also.
Hill said the fire department
is looking at the possibility of a space heater that may have
malfunctioned; however, the cause of the fire is still under
investigation. The cause at this date is reported as "accidental
but still undetermined".
Rescued pups being
Photograph by Cindy Balzer
Two Ketchikan Fire Department engines responded along with twenty-eight
staff with various duties. An ambulance and a rehabilitation
unit also responded to the scene. Hill explained that the rehabilitation
unit's function is to monitor and take care of the firefighters
to ensure their safety when fighting fires.
Hill said the call came in
at 3:08 pm Saturday and that Ketchikan Fire Department's first
unit was on the scene at 3:10 pm. When the fire was under control,
the crew performed what they call "overhaul" where
they go in to salvage and save personal items if they can said
There were no reported injuries.
The Smiths have friends in Ketchikan who are helping them in
their time of need according to information provided by Hill.
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