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Crews Contain Santa Barbara House Fire

Firefighters made quick work of a fire that broke out Monday afternoon inside a Westside home, according to the Santa Barbara City Fire Department.

At about 12:40 p.m., a neighbor reported smelling smoke in the area, and was able to identify the house on the 1600 block of Gillespie Street as the source of he fire, said Battalion Chief Mike dePonce.

Three engines and a truck responded, and crews initially couldn't determine where the smoke was coming from in the home, dePonce said.

They forced entry into the locked residence through the backdoor, and when the door was opened, a dachshund inside the home fled, and "the thing took off running like crazy," dePonce said. 

Animal control was called to retrieve the animal, and neighbors worked to help locate the dog, which had run onto Harding Elementary School grounds.

School officials brought the dog back to the owners, who arrived on scene as fire crews were working on their home.

Firefighters ventilated the smoke-filled residence and were able to put out the fire, which was contained to one room.

Crews had to cut open the floor and wall with a chainsaw in order to put out the blaze.

An investigator was still on scene determining the exact cause of the fire, dePonce said, but urged others to use caution with heating devices.

Many of the older homes in Santa Barbara are on a raised foundation, he said, and between the floor of the home and the ground are utilities such as plumbing and furnaces.

As people are starting to use heaters and other devices to keep warm, dePonce urged residents to be "extra vigilant" to make sure devices are turned off when not in use.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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