Pleasanton Weekly

News - September 9, 2011

Cigarette caused fire that killed dog, say firefighters

Passerby calls Fire Department after seeing flames in front yard

Cigarette ashes flicked into tan bark in front yard landscaping most likely caused a house fire last week in Pleasanton that killed a family dog, firefighters said.

A passerby called the fire department about 4:20 p.m. Aug. 31 after seeing flames and smoke outside a single-family home in the 2800 block of Curry Street, said Battalion Chief Joe Testa, in northeast Pleasanton near the end of Stoneridge Drive.

The fire was quickly extinguished, and crews checked for spread of it into the house.

The fire did cause damage to the exterior of the home and cracked windows but did not spread further. Two parents and two grown children were home at the time of the fire but were not aware of it until they heard the sirens as firefighters arrived.

The flames were quickly extinguished but the family dog, a beagle, was killed in the fire. One firefighter suffered a minor injury and was treated and released from the hospital.

The fire caused about $25,000 in damage to the home, including discoloration of the walls and cracked windows, according to Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department reports. The occupants were able to return to the home after the incident.

A joint investigation conducted by the Pleasanton Police Department and the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department determined that the probable cause was cigarette ashes dropped into tan bark in front of the home by occupants and their friends, according to reports.

-- Dolores Fox Ciardelli

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