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Canine Arsonist

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    Dog sets second duplex fire of year

    Thursday, October 26, 2006
    By JOHN BRANTON Columbian staff writer Advertisement

    A Doberman pinscher named Victoria has set two fires this year, officials say, in the same apartment and in the same way -- by jumping up on an electric stove and turning on a burner.

    "I would say Victoria is a habitual offender," said Jim Flaherty, firefighter-spokesman with the Vancouver Fire Department.

    The first time it happened, in March, the fire didn't cause much damage to the duplex apartment at 3101 Watson Ave.

    Wednesday night, however, damage was estimated at $100,000. Victoria's owner, Caroline Wheeler, rents in the Fourth Plain Village neighborhood east of Grand Boulevard.

    Firefighters were called to the scene at 6:06 p.m. Wednesday. Arriving in five minutes, they found smoke coming from the eaves. The apartment's windows were blackened, meaning heavy heat and smoke inside.

    When firefighters forced the front door open, another dog, named Wiley, came running out. Wheeler wasn't home, but her neighbors had evacuated their unit and called 911.

    As firefighters doused flames in Wheeler's kitchen, firefighter Kyle Kirby found the Doberman hiding under an end table in the family room. Kirby carried the 2-year-old female to safety.

    By the time the fire was out, it had caused about $80,000 damage to the apartment and $20,000 to Wheeler's possessions. But firefighters had caught it before it spread to the unit next door.

    No one was injured in Wednesday's blaze, Flaherty said, adding, "The dogs are doing great for the amount of smoke they were in."

    As if Victoria starting two fires in the same way wasn't enough of a coincidence, there was another, Flaherty said.

    A few hours before Wednesday's fire, firefighters had driven past Wheeler's apartment while returning from another call and were talking about the fire Victoria caused there in March.

    Victoria started both fires by jumping up and pushing a button on the front of the old stove, which turned on a burner.

    This time, Flaherty said, the kitchen was so heavily damaged that the stove must be replaced, hopefully with a newer, safer model. The other dog, Wiley, part coyote, isn't big enough to have turned the burner on, Flaherty said.

    Flaherty said the Clark County chapter of the American Red Cross offered to help Wheeler with temporary lodging. Wheeler had renter's insurance.
    Last edited by feedtheflame; 10-26-2006, 04:02 PM.

  • #2

    Damn.... You never know how much trouble a dog can get into...


    • #3
      Ever get the thought that maybe the dog just didnt like living in that appartment?
      If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

      "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

      "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

      Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

      impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

      IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.


      • #4
        What a bitch.
        Steve Gallagher
        IACOJ BOT
        "I don't apologize for anything. When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes


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