Family pets perish in Halloween fire

Two pets perished and one was reported missing after a late afternoon fire destroyed a garage and partially damaged a home in Fort Dodge on Halloween.

Fort Dodge Fire Capt. Paul Neeson said one dog and one cat died in the fire Thursday.

The blaze, which was reported around 5 p.m., happened at 3007 Seventh Ave. S.

Neeson, who identified the homeowner as Justin Lyftogt, said the fire started in the garage, but the specific cause was still under investigation.

“The back of the house received exposure damage,” Neeson said. “A car behind the garage is a total loss, and a neighbor’s shed was damaged.”

He added that the home’s windows were melted, but otherwise the house remained intact.

Neeson said Thursday evening that the Fire Department hadn’t yet determined if the family could remain in the home.

Fire Chief Kent Hulett said the American Red Cross responded to help the family.

“They still need assistance,” he said.

Hulett said once firefighters arrived on scene, their main goal was to keep the house from burning down.

“The garage is detached, but it’s within five feet of the house,” Hulett said. “The back of the house had caught on fire, but right now it doesn’t appear to have penetrated the house.”

Although the cause of the fire had yet to be determined, Hulett did say that it didn’t appear to be suspicious.

The fire is being investigated by the Fort Dodge Fire Department and Fort Dodge fire marshal.