Two dogs and a cat perished in a Monday (9/23) morning structure fire off of the South Point Higgins Road area in Ketchikan. North Tongass Volunteer Fire Department chief Jerry Kiffer says the blaze started in the downstairs kitchen.

“It was a two story house with a basement, and the fire damage was limited to the kitchen area on the first floor.”

Kiffer says the tenants of the Raspberry Lane house weren’t home at the time. Firefighters arrived within six minutes after receiving a report at about 11 a.m.

The fire chief says it’s likely the fire had been smoldering for some time before neighbors noticed smoke and made the call. He says there was significant water damage to the first floor of the home.

“…and then pretty significant smoke damage to the second floor, and a smaller amount of water damage to the second floor. The basement had a little bit of damage, but no significant damage.”

He says the three pets likely lost consciousness and suffocated.

“In these cases, most of the time civilian and pet deaths are due to carbon monoxide exposure prior to being overcome by smoke or flames.”

Fire investigators haven’t ruled the cause. But Kiffer says it’s likely the fire’s origin was an electrical fault.  He says about 20 firefighters responded including North Tongass and South Tongass volunteers and Ketchikan city firefighters providing mutual aid.

North Tongass Volunteer Fire Department (KRBD stock photo).