Dog dies in house fire possibly started by firework

Posted at 1:11 PM, Jul 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-05 14:34:33-04

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — A dog has died after being caught in a house fire that a homeowner believes was caused by a stray firework.

The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety responded to the call just before 11 p.m. Wednesday to a home on Elder Street. First responders could see flames coming from the back of the house as the approached the scene.

Crews immediately began working to get the fire under control. Although it was extinguished quickly, the house was heavily damaged.

Sadly, one of the family’s dogs did not make it out of the house. Brenda Olson says her dog Tank died in the fire.

“I tried to pull him by the collar to get him to go through but he’s scared of fire and he wouldn’t go through. And I didn’t think quick enough to push the air conditioner out of the window to get him out that way. I didn’t have time,” she said.

A photo of Tank provided by the family

Olson says two of their dogs did make it out safely.  One of her dogs, Buster, was carried out by a firefighter on scene.

Olson says they put a specialized animal oxygen mask on her dog once they carried him out. Their other dog, Abby, made it out as well. Both dogs are now recovering.

Investigators said Friday that the cause of the fire is still under investigation. Olson and her husband believe firmly that the blaze was caused by a firework that hit their home.

“We heard a big boom in the back and we had a fire instantly. And there were people in the neighborhood that heard the big boom also,” Olson said.

If you are able to help the Olson family with donations, you can do that here.

Investigators haven’t officially determined what caused the fire.

Police ask that anyone with information contact KDPS at 269-337-8994 or Silent Observer at (269) 343-2100.