WALLA WALLA - A garage belonging to Darren and Cheryl Jackson burned down this morning near the couple's home at 2203 Fern Ave. The building housed a business office and served as vehicle storage for the couple.
In addition to business papers, vehicles and family mementos, the Jacksons also lost one of their two dogs in the inferno that erupted shortly before 9 a.m. Smoke from the fire towered above nearby residences, and flames could be seen above nearby roofs a block away. Students and staff at nearby Walla Walla High School were among the first to spot the blaze.
"My dog burned up," said Darren Jackson, owner of Jackson's Siding & Windows.
The pet was a golden retriever hunting dog, according to Jackson.
Cheryl Jackson said she was home doing laundry when the fire broke out, adding she was unaware of the fire until she received a call from her daughter.
Marisa Jackson, a junior at Walla Walla High School, said she found out about the fire over the phone, as well.
"Someone called me during school and asked me if my house was on fire," Marisa Jackson said.
The teen then called her mother.
"We lost a lot of stuff," Darren Jackson said. "I lost $100,000 just in vehicles."
Two cars belonging to his wife and daughter were destroyed, along with an ATV and a family RV.
Fire crews on the scene said the cause of the blaze is still under investigation. Darren and Cheryl Jackson, however, suspect the fire was caused by a heat lamp in the garage, set up for the golden retriever.