Christina Lake Fire Lieut. Sheldon Weigel helped put out Tuesday’s house fire in Grand Forks. (Laurie Tritschler/Grand Forks Gazette)

Christina Lake Fire Lieut. Sheldon Weigel helped put out Tuesday’s house fire in Grand Forks. (Laurie Tritschler/Grand Forks Gazette)

Family pets killed in Grand Forks house fire believed to be caused by turtle’s heat lamp

Investigators say a heat lamp likely started the blaze

Three pets are dead after a tragic house-fire on Coalshute Rd. Tuesday, Oct. 6.

The homeowners and their two school-aged children were not inside when a neighbour reported the fire to Grand Forks’ volunteer fire department shortly before 3 p.m.

Grand Forks Deputy Fire Chief Rich Piché was among the first crews to arrive on-scene.

Piché quickly determined the fire was coming from the basement of the family’s two-storey rancher.

He requested backup from Christina Lake Fire and Rescue, whose firefighters helped to put out the flames.

READ MORE: Christina Lake firefighters put out Labour Day morning fire

The fire is believed to have been started by a heat lamp which had been left on for a pet turtle.

Piché said the lamp likely fell onto a wooden table he believed to be the source of the fire.

Two dogs and a cat died of smoke inhalation inside the home, Piché confirmed.

The family’s second cat is believed to be in the area.

The family has been offered assistance through the Canadian Red Cross, which can help provide food, shelter and emergency necessities.

Piché said he expected to finish his on-scene investigation Wednesday, Oct. 7.

The fire caused some structural damage near the basement stairs, Piché explained.

No firefighters were hurt in the blaze.


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