Hungry Dog Blamed for Tennessee House Fire That Killed Five Animals

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A hungry dog is thought to have caused a house fire in Tennessee on Wednesday that killed five dogs, fire officials said.

Knoxville fire Capt. D.J. Corcoran told NBC station WBIR that one of six dogs inside the home was the only survivor after the blaze broke out at 12:25 p.m. Corcoran said investigators believe one of the six dogs "pawed the burner controls" of a stove while trying to reach food on a counter nearby.

A neighbor kicked open the door of the burning home after hearing the animals' frantic barks as the flames and heat intensified, Corcoran told the station, and the sole surviving dog was able to run out. No one was home at the time, he said.

The National Fire Protection Association said in 2010 that an estimated 500 house fires a year were caused by all animals, including pets, and that pets caused fires most frequently by knocking something onto a stove. The nonprofit association, which develops standards aimed at improving fire safety, analyzed data from 2006 to 2010 to come up with its estimate, according to its website.