Eleven dogs die in house fire; apartment also burns - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jason Miles

Eleven dogs die in house fire; apartment also burns

11 dogs died when a space heater caught fire at a home on Ravenwood. 11 dogs died when a space heater caught fire at a home on Ravenwood.
Video from Chopper 5 showed a huge fire at the Ridgemont Apartments early Friday afternoon. Video from Chopper 5 showed a huge fire at the Ridgemont Apartments early Friday afternoon.

Firefighters in Memphis battled two large, unrelated fires in different parts of Memphis this afternoon.

First, shortly before 1:00pm, crews were called to a large blaze at a home in the 2700 block of Ravenwood, near Long Meadow in Raleigh. Video from Chopper 5 showed a large amount of smoke and fire rising from the home.

Moments later, fire crews were called to a separate blaze at the Ridgemont Apartments, located near Ridgemont and New Allen.  Video from Chopper 5 showed smoke and flames rising from up to eight units on the second floor of one of the complex's buildings.

Witnesses said the owners of the home on Ravenwood had a kennel set up in their garage, with 14 dogs and puppies inside.  Officials believe the fire started when a space heater meant to keep the animals warm went up in flames.

At the height of the fire, the heat was so intense a car parked in the home's driveway went up in flames.

A neighbor said his dog alerted him to the fire, and he immediately called 911.  Police arrived and helped break out a couple of the home's windows to make sure no family members were inside.

They were able to rescue three dogs, while 11 others died.

"With all the noise going on, you could tell they were trying to escape," the neighbor said.

The homeowners apparently learned about the fire after seeing television reports about it.  They raced home to tend to the three surviving pets.

Firefighters at the scene set the fire was yet another example of the danger of using space heaters.

The cause of the fire at the Ridgemont Apartments has not been determined.

Stay with WMCTV.com for updates on this story.


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