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Battery pack turned dog chew toy ignites fire at London, Ont. residential complex

A paw-sitive outcome for these two pooches. A battery pack they chewed on ignited a mattress, seen far right, at a west London residential building on July 23, 2020. Both got out of the building unharmed.
A paw-sitive outcome for these two pooches. A battery pack they chewed on ignited a mattress, seen far right, at a west London residential building on July 23, 2020. Both got out of the building unharmed. London Fire Department

London, Ont., fire officials are using an incident Thursday at a west London residential complex as a reminder for people to keep electronics, like power cords and battery packs, stored where pets can’t get them.

Fire crews responded to the scene at 320 Sugarcreek Trail, just northwest of Beaverbrook Avenue and Riverside Drive, around 3 p.m. July 23.

The call came in after the occupants of a unit at the address, who weren’t home at the time, were alerted to the fire by a home monitoring system, said Platoon Chief Gary Mosburger.

Read more: Western researchers confirm 6 tornadoes touched down Sunday in London, Ont. region

After making a forced entry into the unit through a patio door, Mosburger said firefighters located two dogs inside and managed to get them out.

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The building’s sprinkler system held the fire at bay until firefighters arrived, he added.

It was later determined the blaze began when a battery pack, chewed up by the dogs, ignited the mattress it was sitting on.

“[Mattresses] are basically like a petroleum-based foam, so as soon as it gets going, it can be incredibly violent… and can consume a room and an apartment very, very quickly,” Mosburger said.

The two pups have since been taken to a veterinarian, he said. “From what I’ve heard, everything seems to be fine with the dogs.”

The blaze caused mostly smoke damage — about $25,000 worth, fire officials say. That tally doesn’t include water damage left behind by the sprinklers and fire crews.

Home security camera rolling as playful pup accidentally starts a fire inside his home
Home security camera rolling as playful pup accidentally starts a fire inside his home