2 pets perish in Decatur house fire

By Kristen Tribe | Published Wednesday, April 30, 2014

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A Decatur couple lost not only their home, but also two pets in a house fire Tuesday morning.

Just before 11 a.m., a neighbor called 911 after hearing a hissing noise and then an explosion at 141 Mesa Ridge, which is southeast of Decatur. He looked across his yard to see the back side of Jason and Sherry Smith’s home engulfed in flames.

Midday Fire

MIDDAY FIRE – Decatur firefighters spray down the backside of a home in the Mesa Ridge subdivision southeast of Decatur. A neighbor heard an explosion and called 911. Emergency responders rescued several dogs, but two died inside the house. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

The couple was not home, but three dogs were inside the house. A Wise County sheriff’s deputy rescued one dog, but the smoke and heat threatened to overwhelm him, preventing the rescue of the other two animals.

Four other dogs that were in the yard survived the fire, as well as two cats.

Wise County Fire Marshal Chuck Beard said the cause of the fire is undetermined and still under investigation. He said the explosion was a propane bottle on the couple’s grill.

Although some items in the home may be salvageable, the structure is a total loss. Beard said the couple has insurance, and they plan to stay with family members who live in the neighborhood.

They declined Red Cross assistance.

East Wise, Decatur and Rhome fire departments were called to the scene, as well as Wise County medics and Rescue 1.

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