Playful pup's lucky escape after setting fire to kitchen
Kobi, a four-month-old Siberian husky - and his flatmate parrot Mango - were rescued by firefighters after he accidentally switched on the electric cooker.
His owner Jeremy Hayward-Jones had only nipped out for a short while, but returned to discover the blaze at his home on Braemar Walk, Bispham, on Saturday afternoon.
The dog had been left in the kitchen and had jumped up at the cooker, knocking on all the hob switches.
Jeremy, 57, who lives alone at the flat, explained: “He’s usually safe for about three hours. I’d taken him out for a long walk before I’d gone. Everything in the kitchen was generally out of reach.
“I don’t use the hot plate on my oven, on top I had a halogen oven instead. A hair brush on there as well as some poo bags.
“I hadn’t isolated the oven before I went out, so it was my fault. He’s never done it before.
“I was out for about three hours and got back here as the fire engines were here at the main door packing up.
“I’m grateful my neighbours heard and sounded the alarm and my other neighbour had a key. She tried to get in, it was too smoky and they called the fire brigade and they got here within minutes.”
Mango, a two-year-old Pineapple Cheeked Conure, was the first to escape from the flat. Both animals were unharmed.
Jeremy, who served in the Household Cavalry for 12 years, took Kobi, whom he got from a couple in Fleetwood at the age of eight weeks, to the vets for a check up.
“He’s got the all clear,” he said. “I think he’s very lucky. I’m full of guilt, to be honest. I put him in that kitchen, I put him in that position. It’s not his fault. I still love him.
“It just shows how a young puppy, or baby, left alone for any period of time can cause so much disruption.”
Jeremy, an out of work former singer, said he was not insured for the damage to the house.
One fire engine from Blackpool and one from Bispham attended after receiving an emergency call just before 2pm.
On arrival, firefighters found the ground floor property full of smoke and extinguished the fire using two breathing apparatus sets, one hose reel and one ventilation unit.
Watch manager Michael Spencer explained: “A gentleman had gone out and had left a Siberian husky puppy in the kitchen. It turned a couple of switches on and it’s set fire to what was on top of the cooker.
“The property was heavily smoke logged.
“The owner came home and the pets were with a neighbour and we were recommending he take them to a vets to get them checked out because they were subjected to a very unpleasant atmosphere for some time.
“They seemed okay but were black with soot.
“Sometimes it seems a bit strange but the evidence fitted with the version of events.”
He added: “Fortunately the neighbours were able to tell us what was in the flat and we able to locate them quite quickly.”
Firefighters were at the scene for 45 minutes.