A beagle was killed after a shed went up in flames in Wellesley Township this week.
Lighting in the shed, ostensibly used to warm the six dogs (three adults, three puppies) found near the shed, is presumed to have caused the fire, Wellesley Township fire chief Andrew Lillico said.
The incident took place at 2995 Manser Rd. around 5:15 a.m. on March 2.
“There was a fire in a utility shed approximately 100 feet from the home,” Lillico said. “The shed was fully engulfed upon our arrival. The crews had to stretch a line from the driveway of the residence approximately 600 feet back, to the shed. Again, the shed was fully involved in fire upon our arrival and they did an excellent job of knocking down the fire and not only that, they were able to cut cages adjacent to the shed, and to free and save five dogs.”
Given the time of year, just getting to the fire was difficult, Lillico said.
“The snow was waist deep and there were objects in the snow as well, so it wasn’t an easy task to get back to the shed that was quite a ways back from the house. It was a bit of a challenge to get back there. It was 5 in the morning and it was pitch black, so it wasn’t easy, but the crews stretched the line back to it and immediately rescued the other five dogs.”
The township’s animal control officer investigated the scene and found that “the amount of dogs that they had on site was within (the homeowners) rights,” Lillico said.
After saying the dogs were found in cages “adjacent to the shed,” Lillico would not specify if that meant they were being kept outside in the cold. According to Environment Canada, the wind chill at 5 a.m. March 2 in the Waterloo Region was approximately minus-15.
The cause of the fire is not considered suspicious, Lillico said.
“We believe it was started from the electrical lights that were used to keep the area warm. … It is still under investigation.”