Animals die in Topaz Ranch fire, family loses everything.
A fire gutted a single-wide mobile home in Topaz Ranch Estates on Monday, killing at least two of four family pets.
Loren Davis, 56, and his wife, Kim Proctor, were working as groundskeepers for the Douglas County School District when the fire began at their Sandstone Drive home about 3 p.m.
Neighbors Adam Insell, 13, and his brother Apalo, 16, said they saw smoke coming from the Davis rental and rushed over to try to save the dogs they knew were kenneled at the back of the home.
At about that time, Larry Offenstein and his wife, Sandy, who are building a home on a hillside that overlooks the property, arrived after seeing flames.
Larry Offenstein said he could hear a dog “screaming” in the rear of the house and grabbed a garden hose, making his way around the back of the home.
He found a black chow named “Goofy” singed on her backside and hunched in the corner of a chain-link kennel, the brush around her ablaze.
Offenstein said he was under no illusion that he could stop the fire as it raced through the pre-fab structure and across the field, but “I was trying to get the dog out.”
Grabbing the hot fence, he threw the door open, only to find Goofy wasn’t coming out.
“So I squirted her down, and she came right to me,” he said.
There was no such happy ending for Seacee, a white, female mixed breed. Offenstein said he didn’t see her.
Davis said Seacee must have been afraid of the fire. She went into her doghouse, where firefighters found her remains.
A cat is believed to have also died in the fire. Offenstein said he broke out a window to try to save one cat and saw another run from the house.
The fire department didn’t have a chance to notify the couple, and they came home from work to chaos.
“I don’t know what we are going to do,” said Davis as he looked at the charred remains of his home. “Everything is completely gone.”
He said he and Proctor had lived in the mobile for about a year, having moved from Battle Mountain. They do not have renters’ insurance.
Proctor, who learned of Seacee’s fate from Davis, stood beside him with her head down.
“You all right?” he asked.
She slowly shook her head, putting her hand over her mouth to stifle a sob.
“We’ll find your cat,” he said as he rubbed her shoulder.
Three engines and four water tenders responded to the scene 16 miles outside of Gardnerville, said Deputy Chief Dave Drew of the East Fork Fire District.
Drew said the cause of the blaze is under investigation.
“We are trying to extinguish as much fire as we can without destroying too much because of the investigation,” he said.