(PEERLESS) - Firefighters from four volunteer fire departments battled a garage fire early this morning.
The fire was reported at 3:24 a.m. at the home of Richard and Janice Romine at 1161 Peerless Road.
Firefighters from Shawswick, Marshall, Oolitic and Indian Creek Volunteer Fire Departments responded along with TOPES.
Duke Energy was called to cut off the power to the garage that was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. Flames were leaping above the trees and there were several explosions from several 20-pound LP tanks and acetylene tanks.
"They were like torches," Shawswick VFD Chief Bobby Brown. "One is sitting over there and looks like a peeled banana. Dealing with those going off is dangerous."
Firefighters had a hard time reaching the fire because the garage had double-metal walls.
"The walls trapped the fire inside," Brown says. "It is difficult getting into a single metal wall, let alone a double one."
Richard Romine says his wife heard popping and crackling and that is what alerted them that something was wrong.
"I was asleep and she (Janice) woke me and said the garage was on fire and called police," Romine says. "I am not sure what started it but I believe it was the heat lamp I had on for the dog. He might of knocked it down attempting to get to an empty dog food can that I had on the shop work bench."
Romine believes his 11-year-old chow-black lab mix didn't survive.
"We know there was a dog in there, but we haven't found him yet," Brown says. "We've searched the area he was in, but haven't found him so we are not sure if he escaped or moved to another area."
The 30-foot by 60-foot garage is destroyed along with a pickup truck and lots of tools.
The fire did spread to a large wood pile beside the garage.
"It was covered with a plastic tarp and with the heat the pile caught on fire," Brown says. "We were able to move several tires that were near the pile, but that pile will be burning for days."
Firefighters will be on the scene to monitor several more fires.
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