Eight dogs die in Duluth house fire

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The Duluth Fire Department says eight dogs, including six puppies, died in a fire in the Central Hillside neighborhood on Friday morning.

Assistant Fire Chief Denny Edwards said a passerby reported the fire at a home in the 100 block of East 5th Street shortly after 9 a.m. Firefighters were on the scene within a few minutes because it is not far from fire headquarters.

The fire was burning on the second floor.

No people were in the home at the time of the fire, but firefighters found three adult dogs and six puppies in three different bedrooms on the second floor.

"We think two cats escaped on their own. Six puppies, two adult dogs have died. One adult dog, after lifesaving efforts…and a transport to a veterinarian, that dog is doing well at this time," Edwards told WDIO at the scene.

The fire department said in an afternoon update that the dog’s condition was stable.

All Duluth Fire companies have pet rescue equipment and are trained in animal emergency care.

"We know that pets are an important part of a family," Edwards said in an afternoon statement. "Many of us in the department have pets, and when we are on scenes like this one, we treat every pet rescue the way that we would want our pets to be treated. Understandably this is a hard day for this family."

The Duluth Fire Marshal’s Office has determined the fire to have been accidental, caused by an electrical issue. The fire department estimates damage to be $45,000 to the structure and its contents.

An adult woman and her daughter who live in the home are receiving assistance from the Red Cross.