A father and daughter escaped, but a family dog perished Friday in a fire that damaged two Citrus Heights homes.
Firefighters were dispatched at about 5:45 p.m. to a reported garage fire at Bitterbush Way and Zenith Drive. They arrived to find the garage fully involved at a home in the 8100 block of Zenith Drive. The fire had spread to the living quarters of the residence and another house was threatened, according to a Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District news release.
Crews began attacking the fire while searching for victims. Additional fire engines were requested as the fire spread to the eaves and attic of the second home. Fire officials said crews quickly put out the fire at the second house, limiting damage to about 10 percent of the residence. The house where the fire started sustained major damage, they said.
A resident told firefighters that he and his child were in a back room of the home when he heard popping sounds and thought it might be fireworks. He opened the door between the house and the garage and encountered a wall of fire. The man quickly scooped up his daughter and evacuated the home. He later broke a window to search for their dogs but was unable to find them.
Fire officials said they understand that people love their pets but urged people not to enter a burning home to find them, stressing that they might not be able to make it back out.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.