Calif. house fire blamed on shiny metal dog bowl

10:04 PM, May 3, 2013   |    comments
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By Don Ford

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KPIX/CNN) - A couple is pointing the finger at their dog's water bowl for a fire that sparked up at their home.

Firefighters in Santa Rosa, Calif. say it is one of the most unusual fire calls they've ever had.

Perry and Shay Weisbrich love their dog, Toby. They take good care of their canine companion and on hot days, he gets lots of water.

But his water bowl nearly destroyed their home.

Shay, was the first to notice something was wrong.

"I just looked outside a minute and saw what I thought was steam. A big plume of it through the glass door, so I went over there thinking, 'That's not right, not normal.' And it was smoke," said Shay.

Toby's shiny new bowl was reflecting a concentrated beam of sunlight onto the side of the house.

"Opened the door and looked. Looked to me like it was about to burst into flame," said Perry.

The beam so powerful the wood started to burn.

The Bennett Valley Fire Department responded before the fire got out of control.

Lt. Rene Torres has been a firefighter for over 10 years, and he says this is his first dog bowl fire.

"Yeah it's unusual but you always hear the legendary tales of the horse hooves sparking or the bullet sparking. Or the Coke bottle that reflects the light. The broken glass that can start a fire. So now the dog dish," said Lt. Torres.

It's remarkable that the angles happened to line up and produce a powerful beam of light.

The Weisbrichs say Toby's getting a new dish, a plastic bowl.


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