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Two dogs dead, one man displaced after Corvallis house fire

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Two small dogs died of smoke inhalation and one resident was displaced after a fire Tuesday night inside a home just off Harrison Boulevard, according to the Corvallis Fire Department.

Firefighters responded to a report of a house fire at around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday to find a single-story house on fire with smoke coming from its windows. Four fire trucks and 16 firefighters responded to the blaze at 350 N.W. 35th St. and the fire was extinguished quickly, said Jim Patton, spokesman for the Corvallis Fire Department. 

The lone resident was not home at the time of the fire, and arrived to the dwelling as crews were battling it, Patton said. Two small dogs, weighing roughly 15 pounds each, were found dead inside the house, Patton said.

"They were not exposed to the fire, they succumbed to smoke inhalation," Patton said. "There was also one cat at the home. It is unaccounted for. We did not find the cat inside the house, and the belief is the cat took off when the fire started." 

Patton said the displaced resident, a male in his 40s, is staying with friends because of the damage. 

"It's going to be months (before he can move back)," Patton said. "They have to get in, clean it out, gut the inside. With the smoke and soot damage, you can’t clean that. You have to rebuild the house from the inside and that takes time."

Investigators believe the fire was caused by a portable space heater plugged into a power strip. 

"We don’t believe the space heater failed or that it was close to combustibles," Patton said. "It was the power strip the space heater was plugged into more than the heater itself. The heater was pulling power from there." 

Patton added that the space heater was on and unattended at the time of the fire. 

Anthony Rimel can be reached at anthony.rimel@lee.net, 541-758-9526, or via Twitter @anthonyrimel.

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