Residents safe, thanks to family dog

The Kansas State Fire Marshal has ruled that an early morning fire Wednesday in Pratt was accidental. Two residents in the house escaped the fire without injury after the family dog woke the couple at 1:38 a.m.

The fire that gutted the residence at 524 South Mound was caused by an electrical problem in the basement between a circuit box and a 110-volt outlet where the dryer was plugged in, said Pratt Fire Chief David Kramer.

When firefighters arrived at the scene, the house was already heavily involved especially the east end of the house that suffered the most damage.

Firefighters made entry to the house but the fire had burned a substantial amount of the ground level floor joists so they had to retreat and fight the fire from outside. It was also very hot where the fire was burning so fiercely.

The residence had both smoke and heat detectors and they were working but it was the family Yorkie that woke the family up. The dog licked Jim Cline's face to get him up then the couple quickly got out of the house and were not injured.

It took about 45 minutes to get the fire completely knocked down and several hours to find all the hot spots.

The fire marshal arrived around 6:30 a.m. to determine the cause of the fire. The investigation determined the fire was accidental and was concluded before noon, Kramer said.

Firefighters were able to keep the fire from getting to a garage just a few feet away from the east end of the house and they also kept the fire from getting to the neighbors house that was just a few feet to the north.

“The guys did an excellent job,” Kramer said.

The structure and the interior was total loss with smoke and fire damage throughout the entire house. The worse damage was on the east end of the house where the fire burned down the exterior wall.