Three dogs and a cat killed in house fire in northeast Columbia

Monday, May 5, 2008 | 12:20 p.m. CDT; updated 2:03 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — Three dogs and a cat died in a house fire early this morning in northeast Columbia in which no people were injured, according to a press release from the Boone County Fire Protection District.

The exact cause of the accidental fire was a space heater placed too close to combustible materials, said division chief Gale Blomenkamp.

Five fire trucks and 16 firefighters responded to reports of the fire at about 5:30 a.m. at 4433 Highway PP N. in time to see heavy fire moving into the attic area, the release said.

The fire started in a basement storage room that had been converted from a garage in the ranch-style home. From there, it moved up the exterior wall along the back of the home, according to the release.

Homeowner Heather Guerra was at home with her parents and daughter, Gabby, when the fire started, and all escaped without injury. The other homeowner, Joshua Johnson, was not home at the time of the fire, said Blomenkamp.

Firefighters were able to enter the home and keep damage contained to the kitchen on the main floor and to a room in the basement. In addition to the deaths of four pets, the house sustained an estimated $100,000 in damage, the release said. Firefighters were on the scene for about two hours.

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