Heat lamp is believed to be cause of fire

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WALLA WALLA -- A heat lamp is believed to be the cause of a garage/barn fire on Mill Creek Road that killed two puppies Tuesday afternoon.

Walla Walla District 4 Fire Chief Rocky Eastman said the blaze at 7934 Mill Creek Road was relatively easily controlled but burned through about 4 tons of hay and scorched portions of the estimated 25-foot-by-40-foot building on property owned by Ron and Cheryl Gonzales.

Eastman said two puppies were in a pen in a section of the structure. The dogs may have knocked over the heat lamp that ignited the combustible material, he said. The dogs died from smoke inhalation.

Firefighters arriving at the 3:59 p.m. blaze had few flames to fight off at the scene, he said. The lack of oxygen in the structure kept the flames from fanning throughout the building, and the fire smoldered out. Crews, however, had to clear out all of the hay to make sure there were no remaining embers or chance that the blaze would reignite.

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