An electrical fire heavily damage a Burton home early Friday, endangering a dog that was left inside after the family of five left for the day.
However, firefighters rescued the Yorkie, which was in a kennel in the laundry room of the home on Bruce K. Smalls Drive.
The fire was reported just before 8 a.m. by a 911 caller. The caller had banged on the door of the home after spotting smoke but got no reply, Burton Fire District spokesman Dan Byrne said. When firefighters arrived, they found heavy smoke and flames breaking through the roof.
Treena Jenkins said she and her husband had taken their three children to school and she was headed to work when she got a call from her sister-in-law that her house was on fire.
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She rushed home and told firefighters to save her Yorkie. The dog was not barking, which would have alerted firefighters. Instead, it had pawed at the cage trying to get out.
The family's other dog, a great Pyrenees, was in the back yard and ran into the woods when the gate was opened. It returned later in the morning.
The flames were under control within about 15 minutes, but firefighters continued hosing hot spots for more than an hour. The Beaufort/Port Royal Fire Department, Beaufort County EMS and the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office assisted Burton firefighters.
The fire was caused by improper use of power strips, a frequent problem this time of year, Byrne said. The fire began in the living room area in the rear of the house, and caused heavy smoke and fire damage throughout the home. Part of the roof collapsed, as well.
Jenkins said her family will be able to stay with relatives who live nearby. The home, where she has lived for 15 years, is insured.
"I just thank God it didn't happen in the middle of the night," she said.
Jenkins gestured to one end of the house and then the other. "The children sleep there and we sleep over there. I don't know how we would have gotten them out."
Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.