Dog turns on stove, setting house ablaze

A dog has been blamed for setting a house on fire in Saskatoon on Sunday.

Dog was likely trying to get food from kitchen counter, says fire official

A dog has been blamed for setting a house on fire in Saskatoon on Sunday.

It happened around 4 p.m. CST at 306 Vancouver Ave. N. on the west side of the city.

Fire crews went to the house after getting a call from an alarm company.

When they got there, they found the house full of smoke, with flames in the kitchen and the cupboards on fire.

But there was nobody home — just two dogs.

The fire was quickly extinguished and the dogs were not injured. The damage is estimated at about $15,000.

The cause is probably a first for the Saskatoon fire department.

After investigating, fire officials concluded that somehow one of the dogs had turned on one of the stove burners, which ignited materials on the stove.

When a CBC News reporter went to the house, an occupant was on the phone with an insurance company. She said it was not yet proven that a dog was responsible.

However, fire officials said there were buns and a box of apples sitting on the counter at the time. The stove is an electric smooth-top type with control knobs on the front.  

They think the bigger of the two dogs was likely trying to get at the food.

"It seems like a reasonable assumption, based on food that was on top of the stove and the dog having access to it," acting assistant fire chief Brent Hart told CBC News.

Dog-related fires have happened elsewhere. In February, a house in Vancouver, Wash., was destroyed after a dog jumped up on a stove and inadvertently turned on the burner.