A fire at a home in the Clairemont area of San Diego just before noon on Saturday resulted in the tragic death of a family Pit Bull and injury to a fireman. A second dog, a Pit Bull pup, was in the backyard and was given oxygen by firefighters using a “dog mask" donated to the department, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The fire had fully engulfed an older home on Mt. Acadia Boulevard near Ackworth Avenue before San Diego Fire Rescue Department arrived, officials state. It took approximately 30 minutes for the bulk of the blaze to be put out.
A San Diego police officer who responded to the 911 call found a Pit Bull confined in a crate on fire in the backyard, squealing and suffering excruciating pain, officials say. The officer used his service weapon to humanely euthanize the dog and "put it out of its misery,” said fire spokesman Lee Swanson, according to UT San Diego.
Fire fighters say there were code violations at the home, including the lack of plywood under the shingles, which caused a fire fighter to partially fall through the roof. He sustained second-degree burns on one side of his waist and was taken to the UC San Diego Burn Center for treatment.
The 90-year-old woman who owned the house and her son were out running errands with another relative, according to her daughter, 10 News reports. Sherrie Dubreuyl told reporters her mother, Betty Williams, has lived in the home for 40 years and had lost everything in the fire.
The cause of the fire was determined to be electrical and it appeared to start in the living room, officials said. The owner's daughter said that was where her mother had placed an artificial Christmas tree.
The damage to the home was estimated at $300,000 and its contents at $100,000, according to UTSanDiego.