Pet cats die in fire at Erin house with no smoke alarms

Great Dane survives fire; no reports of people harmed

ERIN – Volunteer firefighters from Erin and Hillsburgh stations responded to a 4th Line house fire on Monday that killed two pet cats.

Arriving minutes before 8am on March 18, crews saw smoke coming from the back of the home and quickly knocked down the fire, which started around a wood-burning stove.

Fire Chief Jim Sawkins wasn’t confident about exactly how the fire started, but said either the stove door was left open, or combustible material was left too close to the hot stove.

No people were home or hurt during the fire, but two cats died, reportedly from smoke inhalation.

A great Dane at the front door of the home was luckier. Firefighters found the dog “unconscious” and “revived” it with oxygen.

There were no smoke alarms in the home, according to Sawkins, who expressed bafflement.

Residents are required by law to have working smoke alarms, the chief emphasized.

“There’s absolutely no excuse,” he said.

The fire was reported under control at 8:30am, according to the town, and Sawkins said seven trucks with 18 total firefighters returned to their stations shortly after 9:30 that morning.

Damage is estimated at around $200,000, largely because of heavy smoke damage.