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VENTURA COUNTY FOCUS | EAST COUNTY / THOUSAND OAKS

Dogs' Dinner on Stove Leads to Kitchen Fire

July 24, 1998|JASON TAKENOUCHI

An untended gourmet meal for three dogs ended in a two-alarm house fire Thursday in Thousand Oaks.

No injuries were reported in the blaze, which caused an estimated $20,000 in structural damage and $10,000 in property damage.

The fire began about noon in a home on the 300 block of East Gainsborough Road. The cause, according to Ventura County Fire Department spokesman Joe Luna, was an "unattended cooking stove."

The fire was largely confined to the kitchen, he said.

Marci Burton, an independent consultant who lives in the house with her three English bulldogs, said she had left a pot of boiling lamb on the stove as a treat for the canines.

"They're pretty spoiled," she said.

Burton said she was returning from a business lunch in Camarillo when the police called her cell phone to tell her about the fire.

"That was the worst phone call I've ever gotten," Burton said, her hands running over her oldest dog, Maggie. "I don't think I'll answer my cell phone ever again."

But while Burton was distraught over damage to her home, she said she was relieved the dogs were uninjured.

"The main thing is that my dogs are OK," she said. "They're my family."

Approximately 30 firefighters helped douse the blaze.

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