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5 pets die in Norwalk house fire

Cary Ashby • Oct 14, 2012 at 6:09 PM

The family living at 21 Woodlawn Ave. got out of the burning house, but some of their pets weren't so lucky.

Two dogs, one cat and two kittens died in the fire that was called into the Norwalk Fire Department at 3:58 p.m. Thursday.

"We took out two kittens that were still alive," Chief Shawn Dickerson said.

(NOTE - To see pictures of the fire, click HERE.)

It's unclear exactly who lives there or who was in the house when the fire started. However, some of the residents include four children: A 7-year-old boy and three girls, a 3-year-old and two twins, age 5. They are staying with other family members.

Another occupant, Jon Cox, 20, jumped out of his second-floor bedroom window after he pushed out the air conditioning unit. He landed on the roof of a minivan parked parallel to the house, which appeared to be gutted.

"I was in my room and I could smell something burning. I noticed I couldn't get to the stairs," said Cox, who wasn't injured. "I was just responding."

Firefighters estimated the fire caused $60,000 in property damage and $15,000 worth of damage to the contents -- a total loss.

"The owner was traveling. She was out of town," Dickerson said.

"By the time we pulled up ... everyone was out," the chief added. "Some of the people who lived there were out of town."

North Central EMS paramedics checked Doris Price, Cox's aunt, at the scene for smoke inhalation. Price, who had taken some donations to Goodwill, said she tried to enter the burning house, but was only able to get as far as the kitchen.

About the time Price arrived, she said the father of the four children was going to pick up the youngsters at the bus stop near the railroad tracks near Dublo's Carry-Out, 6 Madison St.

Firefighters spread a hose down Woodlawn, but weren't able to get any water flowing in it for an unknown reason. The crew used water from a 100-year-old fire hydrant at the intersection of Main Street and Woodlawn.

"We never ran out of water. It took a while to charge the line, but we never ran out of water," Dickerson said.

The chief talked about the hydrant, which turns on in the opposite direction of newer models. The Reflector saw several people struggling to open the hydrant.

"The hydrant was working fine, but it's just old. We got it (working) fine," Dickerson said.

Ten firefighters responded to the house and were there for about three hours. The crew had the fire under control and out in about 15 minutes.

"Jamie's crew did a fine job," Dickerson said, referring to the crew supervised by Lt. Jamie Starcher.

Firefighters initially attacked the blaze from the street side. Once it was extinguished on the first floor, the crew proceeded to the second floor to attack the fire that extended up the stairwell.

The fire started on the first floor in a living room. The cause remains under investigation.

"Nothing suspicious," Dickerson said.

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