Question for Dog Owners, R.I.P. Maggie - Defender Source
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Old August 8th, 2009, 05:02 PM
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Question for Dog Owners, R.I.P. Maggie

For the guys on the Board knowledgeable about dogs. Any thoughts about this?

My friend's house caught fire a few days ago.
He was out in the Mojave Desert at the time and his children were away with their Mother, but his dog Maggie, a friendly, good natured four year old female Boxer, was home alone.

The Fire Dept responded within minutes after neighbors reported seeing flames coming through the roof and quickly extinguished the fire. (The fire investigator said a short in an electrical power strip to a computer was to blame.) The house is repairable, but will have to be completely gutted.

Maggie's doggie door was located approximately 25 feet from the origin of the fire, yet when the Fire Dept discovered her body, she was peacefully lying in my friend's bedroom upstairs - as if she'd simply gone up there to take a nap like she'd done many times before. That particular bedroom, did not ignite, but a TV in the room had melted as a result of the heat. The fireman still on scene by the time my friend got home felt she'd died of smoke inhalation.

What is odd is that both the stairway to get downstairs and the path to the doggie door were unobstructed the whole time. (The fire was put out well before it got that far).

Any ideas why she would not simply escape to safety through her doggie door? She had to have sensed danger. Don't animals have a survival instinct? Movies of fires in the jungle always show the animals retreating away from a fire. Could she have become overwrought with panic and gotten confused?

Needless to say, though eternally grateful that it did not turn out much, much worse, my friend and his family are devastated by her loss. She was a great dog and will missed.
So sad.
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Old August 8th, 2009, 05:32 PM
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Kevin Buckley
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House fires often produce very toxic smoke from things like smoldering foam used in coach cushions etc. Bad stuff like cyanide gas etc. Poor dog probably never woke up.
'73 SeriesIII coiler,"The Goat", Daihatsu 2.8TD,Santana,Ashcroft,ARB's,etc., now SOLD
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Old August 8th, 2009, 06:55 PM
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Sorry for your friends loss. I am a Firefighter and I have seen over a dozen fatal fires involving dogs. They have all died from smoke inhalation. Non have been from flame contact. Animals will stay where they feel safe..under the babies crib, in Dad's bedroom, in their dog bed, ect. Even horses will not leave a barn that is on fire w/o being lead out. We have had a few dog and cat saves where we have brought them back with 02. We even have special sized masks for cats and dogs. We( the fire service) have a big problem with kids who hide in their rooms during a structure fire. We will find them hiding under their beds or in their closets and sometimes they go right past a set of stairs to go to Mom and Dads room where they feel safe. Teach your kids to go outside and meet you at a safe place outside of the house. My wife and I have not been able able to teach our dogs this yet. Be safe
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Old August 10th, 2009, 01:15 PM
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Paul / Boultbee
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Maggie went where she felt safe. Merle has outlined it correctly but most importantly, have you taught your kids what to do? And if so, when did you last practice a fire drill at home?
If the kids are in school, let them take responsibility at home by having them teach YOU what they learn at school when the fire depatment visits. Do it now, do it often.
I'm contemplating thinking about thinking about it!
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Old August 10th, 2009, 03:49 PM
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David Short
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Firemanshort concurs with Fireman Merle. East Coast or West Coast - we both can tell the same story. I even carry the same doggie 02 masks.
1980 Stage One 109
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