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April 26, 2006
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Dogs alerts owner to mobile home fire

A Carson City woman escaped a fire in her mobile home Wednesday afternoon, thanks to her 8-year-old dog Duffy.

The fire occurred at 2:46 p.m. in the 40 block of Royal Way inside the Carson Tahoe Mobile Home Park in east Carson City.

"I was in the back yard lying in the sun and my dog started barking," owner Lorie Coon said. "I heard something that was kind of like a popping noise, but I figured it was my neighbors fixing their cooler."

After seeing smoke, Coon was unable to get back into the home and went to a neighbor's house to call 911. The Carson City Fire Department responded and had the fire contained in less than 30 minutes.

"There was moderate damage to the back of the home because it's an older model," said Battalion Chief Dan Shirey. "Had (the fire department) not been right down the street, it could have been much worse."

Shirey said it is not unusual for animals to alert their owners.

"They smell smoke and they know when something is dangerous," he said. "Dogs can always sense danger, or they have a natural ability to sense danger, and that's a classic example. I'm no expert by any means, but we come across it fairly often."

Shirey said the fire consumed about half of the home and the rest was lost to smoke and water damage.

"It's considered a total loss," he said. "It's been condemned due to safety issues. The occupant and her family will be going through to see if there is any thing to be salvaged.

"The American Red Cross will be tending to her immediate and long-term needs as best as they can."

Coon said she was without insurance, letting it lapse after she lost her job eight months ago. She had lived in the home for five years.

"This is the first time I let it lapse. I was hoping to get back on my feet since that I was working again, but now I don't know," Coon said.

The exact cause and origin of the fire is still under investigation.

Carson City Fire Capt. Adrian Weintz estimated damages at $25,000 for the mobile home, which she said was a total loss, and about $12,000 for the home's contents.

"The Red Cross did come out and they are helping the owner," she said.

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Apr 26, 2006 11:58PM Published Apr 26, 2006 12:00AM Copyright 2006 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.