Family pet killed, firefighter injured in Palm Springs house fire

A live power line went down near house fire

Family pet killed, firefighter injured

Palm Springs, Calif. - A family pet lost its life in a house fire in Palm Springs Thursday morning. The flames broke out at about 10:30 a.m. on Canon Drive, south of Ramon Road near the intersection of El Cielo Road.

News Channel 3 reporter Jake Ingrassia spoke with Owen Fox, the homeowner, who says the fire started in the garage. Fox said he was working on his 1985 Porsche when he believes the muffler caught fire.

"My porsche isn't running very well but I back it up every couple of weeks just to keep the battery going and to start it up," Fox said. He said the car began filling with smoke.

"Seconds later there was a significant fire and I think less than a minute, there was an enormous fire and it was up over the roof," he said.

Families on the street were evacuated.


"We heard one small pop and then -- another loud pop," said neighbor Chris Gastelum. "Getting the kids out, they were all just relaxing and you have to give them the sense of urgency. You know, we gotta go, leave everything."

Dozens of fire crews doused the home with water. One firefighter was sent to the hospital with a burn injury.

"He had burns to the backsides of his hands," said Palm Springs Fire Dept. Battalion Chief Michael Smith. "Appeared to be second degree, but he's doing really well right now. He's with his family."

And Elizabeth Fox, Michael's daughter, was first concerned about their family dog when she learned her home was on fire.

"I got over here and immediatly started looking and asking wheres the dog, wheres the dog," she said. 

12-year-old "Mr. Little" fell unresponsive as firefighters worked to resuscitate him.  

"To see them giving my dog oxygen, even though obviously he wasnt responding, he wasn't breathing - it meant a lot," Fox said. "They were doing all that they could." 

But it was too late.

"I loved him. I gave him a walk every day... He was my dad's little buddy," she said. "He's going to be missed for sure."

Fox started a GoFundMe page to help during this difficult time.

"Any help that you can give us at this time is greatly appreciated and we sincerely thank you from the bottom of our hearts," wrote Fox.

Click here to visit the page and donate.

You can reach Jake on TwitterFacebook or email him at

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