Dog may have started home fire

By Andy Matarrese, Columbian Breaking News Reporter



A dog trying to grab a snack from the counter might have started the fire that damaged a home in the Arnada neighborhood Thursday afternoon.

Vancouver Fire Marshal Heidi Scarpelli said investigators can’t confirm it absolutely, but it appeared likely the homeowners’ Australian shepherd, Jake, may have jumped onto the stove to snag some bread and, in the process, switched on a burner that lit some nearby combustibles on fire.

“No one was home at the time of the fire but Jake the dog,” she said.

Firefighters were called to the house, at 501 E. 22nd St., for a house fire shortly after 1 p.m.

Scarpelli said the fire burned through the kitchen cabinets, into some of the attic and out through roof vents, doing about $18,000 in damage to the home’s structure and contents.

There was also ample smoke damage inside, she said.

No one was hurt.

“We’ve had this happen before in the city,” she said.

Dogs have jumped to sneak some food and inadvertently switched on stoves, she said, and cats have knocked over candles or space heaters.

It’s a reminder for pet owners, she said, to be mindful of their animals.