While a Fish Bay house is a total loss after it went up in flames Saturday, the fire also cost the life of two dogs owned by one of the two people renting the house.
“They found them the next morning,” said Fish Bay resident Michael Milne on Monday.
The tenants were not available for comment. Both are boat captains. A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help them out and had reached almost $12,000 by late Monday afternoon.
Milne said he was sitting on his sofa when he heard an explosion in the house, located a couple of doors away. After seeing flames, Milne said, he ran down to the house, pounded on the upstairs and downstairs doors but didn’t find anyone home. He said if he had known about the dogs, he would have kicked in the door.
He said when he arrived at the house, it appeared the fire was centered on a barbecue grill. Milne said there was a propane tank sitting next to it. The proximity of the propane tank convinced him to get out of the area.
The wooden house was quickly engulfed in flames, Milne said.
“The flames were 20 feet above the roof. A telephone pole was on fire,” Milne said.
He said all that remains of the house is the concrete foundation.
“Most of the house collapsed,” he said.
The house is owned by Richard Hamby of Greensboro, N.C. When contacted on Monday, Hamby said it was the first he heard about the fire.
He said the house was about 1,200 square feet in size.
The fire remains under investigation by the Fire Service.
Several Fish Bay residents said it appears the fire trucks had trouble finding the house.
“I could hear them on Centerline Road,” Chuck Pishko said, referring to a major road that passes outside the Fish Bay neighborhood.
According to a press release from the Fire Service, the firefighters got the call at 9:48 p.m. Saturday. Upon their arrival, they found a two-story wooden residential structure and surrounding brush engulfed in flames. Firefighters extinguished the fire within an hour. They left the scene at 4:51 a.m. Sunday.