Two separate house fires left a total of four pets dead and two families homeless on Saturday.
The first fire occurred late Saturday morning at 2313 Atchison Ave. in west Lawrence.
The fire caused roughly $60,000 worth of damage, was confined to the kitchen and took the life of one of the occupants’ dogs.
The second fire was called in shortly after 5 p.m. at 2721 Lankford Drive in southeast Lawrence. The fire, which started in the basement, destroyed mainly contents and caused smoke damage. It also took the lives of three cats.
The occupants at 2313 Atchison Ave. discovered the fire when they arrived home and called for help at 11:23 a.m.
Lawrence Douglas County Fire Medical arrived at the scene and put the fire out within minutes, acting shift commander Nathan Stover said.
The fire didn’t leave the kitchen or cause any structural damage to the two-story home. Because of the smoke damage, the home is uninhabitable.
Two dogs were inside the house at the time of the fire. One died of smoke inhalation. The other dog was being treated and was expected to survive, Stover said.
At 2721 Lankford Drive, the fire department extinguished the fire in about 10 minutes. No structural damage was caused to the two-story home; however, the home is uninhabitable because of smoke damage.
The occupants, Sean and Christine Herd, had five pets. The family’s two dogs survived, Stover said.
The fire department is still investigating the causes of both fires. The families are staying with relatives, and American Red Cross is assisting them with other items.