SPARKS, NV - One cat is dead after a house fire on Lepori Way that's now out. A Washoe County sheriff's deputy first saw the flames and was able to safely evacuate the residents. The couple living in the home at the time was not hurt.
Firefighters were able to save the couple's two dogs and another cat, but one of their cats is still missing.
Flames were seen coming from the backyard of a two-story home. A pine tree and several juniper bushes helped spread the fire. Residents are unable to return to the home and the gas and electric have been turned off. The residents will be living with family in the area.
Firefighters say the plants around the home, and this year's dry winter, made the fire worse that it would have been if it had happened at this time last year.
"The vegetation out in the wildlands is at a low that we haven't seen in close to 20 years," said Division Chief Andy Koski, with the Sparks Fire Department. "And I would assume that, unless people are watering their trees, their lawns, and the vegetation around their homes, you're going to see the same fuel moistures in that fuel."
Koski says the junipers and other dry vegetation around this Sparks home were contributing factors.
The fire started around 1 a.m., and was completely under control by 4 a.m.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.