Animal sparked Delafield fire: How to 'pet-proof' your kitchen

A family pet started a fire in Delafield in a rare situation that had Lake Country Fire & Rescue sharing information on how to "pet-proof" your kitchen.

The fire on Northview Road near Woodside Drive happened while the owners were asleep.

Fire officials said it did not appear that the home had working smoke detectors. It could have been avoided altogether had the family pet kept its paws off the stove.

Lake Country Fire & Rescue had to call in backup early Monday morning, March 27 as the fire spread quickly through the Town of Delafield home.

Fire on Northview Road near Woodside Drive in the Town of Delafield

"This fire is a little unique in and of itself," said Assistant Fire Chief Matthew Haerter.

Haerter said a family pet likely turned on the kitchen’s gas stove while the owners were sleeping.

"We could tell a stove burner had been on," said Haerter. "Something that was on top of the stove had lit on fire."

The National Fire Protection Association estimates 750 home fires per year are started by wild animals or pets. Haerter said it's extremely rare.

To demonstrate the mischief your furry friend can cause in the kitchen, FOX6 called in the department’s therapy dog, Tesla.

"If you can imagine a cat falling off of a stovetop or a dog placing its front paws up onto the stove and getting down, those dials can easily be brought downwards," said Haerter.

In this case, Haerter said something plastic was left on the stovetop, and it caught fire when the pet hit the knob. Haerter said the majority of home fires start in the kitchen. It’s a good reminder to us all to pet-proof them.

"Almost all of the knobs on a residential model you can pull off, and you’ll have a little piece of steel sticking out," said Haerter.

Most brands FOX6 tried came off with no problems.

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Two people were taken to the hospital after the fire for what investigators said were minor injuries. Two dogs were also rescued from the home.

Owners declined to comment but said they think their cat may have been the culprit.