Sunday, September 24, 2000

Fire destroys Springfield Twp. home

Family also loses cat, but dog is saved

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        SPRINGFIELD TWP. — A fire destroyed a bi-level home, displaced a family and killed the family cat Saturday, but firefighters' caring hands saved Scotty, the cocker spaniel mix.

        Fairfield city firefighters, who were there to assist, made their way through the smoke and found Scotty in the basement, said Brian Sims, Forest Park Fire Department shift commander. The animal was unconscious but breathing, he said, “and one the Fairfield guys (John Norman) scooped the dog up and brought it outside. We administered oxygen, and he was fine.”

[photo] Charles and Beth Doan (right) watch Fairfield Fire Department Lt. Don Bubemyre give oxygen to Scotty, their cocker spaniel mix.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
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        Springfield Township police took the dog to Grady Veterinary Hospital for follow-up care, Cmdr. Sims said, and he was released to his owners, Charles and Beth Doan.

        Any time there's a death in a fire — a person or an animal — the experience is emotional for firefighters, Cmdr. Sims said.

        “They know pets are people's pride and joy; they're part of the family,” he said. “At the same time they (firefighters) were grief-stricken over the cat, they were pretty happy about being able to save the dog.”

        Cmdr. Sims said the structure at 1411 Hazelgrove Drive was home to a family of three who were attending a soccer game when the fire struck. The displaced residents were able to find temporary lodging in a hotel, Cmdr. Sims said.

        A passerby using a cellular telephone reported the blaze at 11:26 a.m. When firefighters arrived, they found “heavy flames coming from the rear, and a lot of smoke,” Cmdr. Sims said.

        The wood-frame structure, valued at an estimated $175,000, was declared a total loss.

        A multidepartment team of investigators determined the fire started in the kitchen, but Cmdr. Sims said he was unable to disclose a specific cause.


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