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HOUSE FIRE CLAIMS 2 CATS, CAUSES EXTENSIVE DAMAGE

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A house fire that caused about $22,000 damage and claimed the lives of two cats Saturday night at the home of Bob Munoz, on South Moor Circle (5080 S. 1880 East), may have been started by a smoldering cigarette.

The Munoz family was not home at the time of the 6 p.m. fire, said Capt. Dave Limberg. He said the presence of an ash tray near the living room sofa indicates the blaze may have been started by a cigarette.Two fire engines, a squad car and 13 firefighters were dispatched to the fire and contained the blaze within five minutes of the call. However, strong west winds caused the fire to spread rapidly, destroying the contents of the living room and dining room and causing other extensive damage.

Lesle Barwick, a neighbor to the west, discovered the fire as she looked out her window.

Barwick was able to save the Munoz family dog but was unable to save the two cats.

The owners were reportedly visiting a daughter at the time of the fire.