The remains of a stuffed kitten lay face down this morning in the ash and snow beneath the broken bedroom window of a burned out home at Kodzoff Acres Mobile Home Park.
The trailer's occupants, who included a woman, whose age is unknown, her son, 10, and daughter, 5, were not home during Monday night's fire. Their names have not been released.
Fire officials said the trailer was totaled in the blaze, which killed the family dog. Firefighters saved the family's pet hedgehog.
"It was kind of ironic," said Capital City Fire and Rescue Capt. Lynn Ridle. "They put it in the ambulance and gave it oxygen and everything. I kind of laughed and said, 'OK guys, save the hedgehog, but then get back to it.' "
Firefighters arrived at the trailer about 5:15 p.m. and had the fire under control within 45 minutes, Ridle said. It looked as though the fire had been burning for some time, unnoticed, until a neighbor called to report it, he said. Heavy black smoke dripped from the eaves of the trailer as 26 firefighters attempted to quell the blaze, Ridle said.
"By the time we got there all the windows were blackened, but the fire hadn't started coming through them yet," said Ridle. "But it wasn't long after that the trailer became fully involved. The windows started breaking out, almost simultaneously. The whole inside of the trailer became involved."
Firefighters sprayed water on neighboring trailers, keeping the fire from spreading.
Though the cause and origin of the fire still are under investigation, Ridle said, it looked as though the fire may have started in the back of the trailer.
Fire Marshal Randy Waters began investigating this morning and said it would be "quite a while" before he knew the cause.
Ridle said the family needs help replacing items lost in the fire. Call (907) 789-1483 for more information.
Melanie Plenda can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.