Wise County has been lucky to have seen relatively few house fires this winter, but a different kind of house fire kept firefighters busy during a 12-hour stretch this week.
Two doghouse fires were reported, one Wednesday night and another Thursday morning. Wise County Fire Marshal Chuck Beard said both fires started from heat lamps inside the doghouses.
Salt Creek Volunteer Fire Department responded to a doghouse on fire around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday in the 400 block of Big Salty Drive in south Wise County. The fire in the “canine dwelling,” as it was referred to by dispatchers, was quickly extinguished by firefighters.
Another fire that began in a doghouse Thursday morning caused more damage. Firefighters from East Wise and Decatur fire departments responded to a doghouse fire behind a home on Farm Road 2264, just west of Heritage Creek Drive between Decatur and New Fairview, around 8:30 a.m. The fire had spread to a nearby garage approximately 20-feet-by-20-feet in size, Beard said.
“A heat lamp caught a pillow on fire” in the dog house, he said.
The dog who took up residence in the home was not injured.
Firefighters on the scene reported possible ammunition going off as the blaze engulfed the garage, so an ambulance was sent to the location. No one was injured, and the fire was extinguished within just a few minutes of the fire department’s arrival.
Many pet owners have had to find ways to keep their outside pets warm during the recent cold weather. Overnight temperatures have dipped to the low teens this week.
The Humane Society of the United States suggests keeping pets inside when temperatures drop.