Officials: Dog may have sparked house fire after chewing on vaping device

- Authorities say a dog rescued by firefighters from a townhouse fire in Damascus over the weekend may have also been the culprit for sparking the blaze.

It has been a whirlwind 24 hours for a Montgomery County man after one of his three rescue dogs needed the assistance of an oxygen mask and plenty of oxygen for severe smoke inhalation. The injured dog was rescued and treated by firefighters after the fire broke out on Tralee Court at around 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

The dog’s owner said he had gone out for a ride on his motorcycle because it was such a beautiful day. But when he returned to his Damascus home, he said he could barely make his way through his smoke-filled home. The smoke so dense that his couch and carpet were on fire after a battery for a vaping device ignited.


Fire officials believe it may have been one of the owner’s three dogs that led to the house fire.

“It’s likely that the dog may have taken it from another room, brought it in, played with it, damaged it to the point where the battery off gas, or had a chemical reaction enough where it caused a flame to be started nearby a combustible fire,” said Montgomery County Fire and Rescue spokesperson Pete Piringer. “We have had dogs that started fires on tops of stoves by accidentally jumping up and actually hitting the knob, so those things can happen. They are purely, truly accidents. But again, there are some preventive measures you can take. But the simplest thing is just to keep things out of reach, whether it be a small child or a pet.”

One of the dogs suffered several cuts and smoke inhalation. All three dogs are expected to be okay. There were also two pet snakes that were safely removed.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue said the battery in question is being examined at a lab to try to determine how it exactly caught on fire.


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