Dog dies in Christmas Day house fire

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LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. - Crews were called to a fire on Howard Street north of Athens Wednesday afternoon.

The call came in around 12:30 p.m. Piney Chapel Fire, Elkmont VFD, Oak Grove VFD, and East Limestone Volunteer Fire Department were on the scene.

Officials said no one was home at the time of the fire. When the owners were contacted that were most upset about the pets they'd left at home that day.

"It was very obvious that their pets are very important to them," said Chief Lance Pitts with the Piney Chapel Fire Department.

During a sweep of the home, a family dog was found dead, and a cat was found alive. A nearby vet tech was called to the scene to treat the cat named Oreo.

“Complete singing on his face, all around the ears is full of ash," said vet tech Sondra Raines after examining the cat.

“Maybe it was a good thing they weren’t at home today as bad as this is, because they could have lost their lives trying to rescue those pets," Chief Pitts said. "This fire was that severe.”

Authorities consider the home a total loss along with the vehicles that were inside the garage.

Chief Pitts said the fire started in a sunroom attached to the back of the house, but the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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