By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
RIVERVIEW – A space heater or its wiring was the probable cause of a March 3 house fire in the 18100 block of Valade, Fire Chief Timothy Bosman told the City Council Tuesday.
Those were the preliminary findings of a recently completed investigation, he said.
The family, who Bosman described as animal lovers, had left town for about four days.
“They took in animals that were mistreated,” he said. “The one they happened to leave behind happened to be one of the mistreated dogs.”
The reason the fire spread so fast was that the back door was left open deliberately so the dog could go in and out of the home.
“When the fire started in the bedroom it was looking for air,” Bosman said. “The house was full of antiques, a lot of wood in the kitchen – ceiling and everything, and it took off.
“It probably burned for a good half hour before it was ever reported. It got a good head start on us.
Firefighters are working with insurance investigators, Bosman said, who likely will analyze the space heater for analysis to see if there was a problem with it.
“They are really good people,” Councilman James Trombley said. “It’s an older couple. I lived directly across the street from them for seven years. What a shame.”