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Palm Desert homeowner credits dog for saving house

Fire rips through roof, destroys family heirloom

PALM DESERT, Calif. - - Fire investigators are blaming a garage light for the partial destruction of a single-story home in Palm Desert.

Homeowner Roger Tuck says he left a light on in the corner of his garage on Hastings and Edinborough Street, near Palm Desert Country Club, which somehow ignited around 2:30 a.m. Thursday.

Investigators told Tuck that they suspect a transformer connecting the light, or the heat of the light itself, sparked the flames, which took an hour to put out.

Fire crews had to cut the garage door off the home to get to the flames, which burned through the roof of the garage.

Tuck emphasized that the fire could have been much worse if not for his dog, a Wheaton Terrier named Pete.

"Get a dog," Tuck advises, "We have a smoke alarm in the hallway and it didn't go off for quite a while. He warned me way before the alarm went off."

Among the lost items, a vintage pinball machine, something Tuck says is a family heirloom, as well as remote control helicopters and equipment.

Tuck says he went to the hospital at the advice of paramedics. Pete is fine, and was taken to a nearby friends home.

No one was injured in the fire.

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