Bottle rocket blamed for starting house fire, killing dog

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A bottle rocket flew into a North Memphis house Wednesday night, setting it on fire and killing the family dog, according to fire officials.

Crews responded to a house in the 900 block of North Main around 9 p.m. The fire was under control by 9:20.

The owner, Jeffery Thomas, was in his childhood home watching TV when he said the firework landed on a rug by his feet.

His dog Sugar was asleep on the floor, and because the firework didn't initially catch anything on fire, Thomas thought it was safe to find out what happened.

While Thomas looked around, his sofa caught on fire.

“Last thing I know a ball of fire had came through the window," Thomas said to WREG on the phone.

After an investigation, Memphis Fire Department officials determined that a bottle rocket had blown through a bedroom window, lighting a sofa on fire and causing the blaze.

His next door neighbor Magonlia Gibbs said she tried to help her neighbor put out the fire.

"My hose was hooked up," she said. "Jeff went to spraying it up in the hosue. The flame went out and by that time the fire department was here."

Thomas said he had grown up in the home.

Sugar died from smoke inhalation, but no other injuries were reported.

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