Fire displaces family of 4, kills dog in Litchfield Park home


by Catherine Holland

Video report by Jill Galus

Posted on August 8, 2014 at 6:34 AM

Updated Monday, Aug 11 at 11:55 AM

Map: Litchfield Road and Wigwam Boulevard

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LITCHFIELD PARK, Ariz. -- Investigators are trying to determine what sparked a fire that left a Litchfield Park family homeless and killed one of its dogs.

It happened at about 2:30 a.m. Friday in the area of Litchfield Road and Wigwam Boulevard, which is north of Indian School Road.

The family said that they have smoke detectors, but the devices did not have working batteries. The son woke up to the sound of the fire and the smell of smoke. He alerted everyone else.

Firefighters said the fast-moving flames gutted the home.

The fire was so intense and grew so quickly that the victims did not have time to search for one of their dogs. Getting out safely meant leaving the pet behind.

Although one dog died, all of the people and two other dogs escaped unharmed. Two cats, however, are unaccounted for.

The Red Cross is helping the family with its immediate needs.

Investigators are sifting through the debris to determine how the fire started.

Safety experts all over the country consistently say that having working smoke detectors is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself and your family.

Because a house fire doubles in size every 30 seconds, time is of the essence for those inside. Once a fire starts, you have less than five minutes to get everybody out safely. Having a working smoke alarm can give you that time.

Firefighters suggest you check the batteries once a month and replace them once a year.