A two-story home was lost Saturday in a destructive house fire in Ketchikan’s Forest Park neighborhood that also claimed the life of a house cat.

The three people and the family dog escaped unharmed after a smoke detector alerted them to the fire. The cat, however, did not survive.

Crews from all three Ketchikan area fire departments responded to 114 Mountain Ash Heights to find a fully-involved fire in the basement and heavy smoke on the upper floor.

South Tongass Fire Chief Steve Rydeen was among the first to arrive on scene at about 12:10 p.m. He says because there are no fire hydrants in the area, water was brought in by four tanker trucks.

“We deployed an inch and three-quarter hose line through the front door and did an aggressive attack on the fire and basically that did the job and the rest of it was mop up.  We did have to cut a hole in the roof for ventilation and extraction of smoke and heated gases.”

Rydeen says the fire was extinguished and mop up complete by about 1:30 p.m.  He says initial reports suggest the fire was accidental. Debris from a wood stove had been put in a cardboard box and left next to a sofa in the basement.  Rydeen says the two-story home is a complete loss.