UPDATE: Two dogs die in South Bend house fire, firefighters rescue cat


South Bend, Ind. A South Bend family is mourning the loss of two beloved pets after a devastating house fire Wednesday night.

We learned Thursday the fire caused $18,000 damage and started in the front bedroom and porch area.

The blaze started around 5 p.m. in the 2400 block of Fellows Street, between East Altgeld and Victoria streets on the city's south side, just blocks away from Riley High School.

The homeowner's niece called 911 after she stopped by to see her cousins, and discovered flames pouring through her aunt's window.

The house was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived on the scene, and extra crews were needed when the blaze started spreading to a nearby garage.

But that wasn't the only challenge they faced.

“We had a power line going to a neighboring house that went right over the roof where it was burning, so we had a hard time fighting that,” explained South Bend Fire Battalion Chief David Maenhout. “We couldn't get it from the underside.”

The family's pets were home alone when the blaze broke out.

Neither of the two dogs survived.

Firefighters provided them with a glimmer of hope amidst their tragedy when they emerged from their destroyed home with their cat, who was still alive and healthy.

No word yet on a cause, but a preliminary investigation indicates the fire started in a bedroom on the front right side of the house.


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