A Sept. 22 house fire on the South Fork claimed the lives of two dogs, but left the home in repairable condition.
About 11 a.m. that Saturday, 22 Cody volunteer firemen responded to a report of a fire at 33 Road 6NQ, about 14 miles out the South Fork.
When they arrived they found the kitchen of the home in flames and renter Doug Beery attempting to put out the fire with a garden hose.
Fire Marshal Sam Wilde said Beery confined the fire to the kitchen and suffered no serious injuries, but added that what he did was dangerous.
“We would highly recommend against going into a house if it’s on fire,” Wilde said. “The risk is not worth it. It’s too easy to be overcome by smoke.”
Wilde said he determined the fire was accidental, caused by trash being knocked onto a hot coffee burner.
Beery’s girlfriend, Shiree Landerman, said when they went out for breakfast about 9:30 a.m. they decided to leave the dogs in the house and put the trash up on the stove fearing the dogs would get into it.
“We had just gotten the one dog – it was a foster dog – from the shelter and it’s supposed to be a two-week trial,” Landerman said. “The dog kept straying off all morning so we wanted to put him in the house.
“It was the first time we’d left them alone in the house together.”
They turned off the coffee maker just before leaving, and believe the dogs must have gotten into the trash within minutes, while the burner was still cooling down, she said.
“When we got home we saw the smoke,” Landerman said. “I took my two-year-old son away from the home to call 9-1-1 while Doug ran in with a hose.”
The Cody Volunteer Fire Department responded within minutes, extinguishing the fire and then continuing their service to help bury the deceased dogs.
“We are thankful to those volunteers who dropped what they were doing and saved our house,” Landerman said. “Then, they all got shovels and axes and dug graves for our dogs. We are so thankful.”
The home, owned by Beery’s parents, has smoke and heat damage throughout, but can be repaired, Wilde said.
In the meantime, Beery and Landerman have found a place to stay and say they plan to take more fire safety precautions in the future – placing extinguishers in either end of their home and ensuring that fire alarms are in working order.