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Heating appliances to blame for fatal animal fires

Three recent southern Sonoma County fires involving the death of 300 baby chicks and three dogs all involved heating appliances, said a Rancho Adobe fire official Wednesday.

A fire at Larsen's Feed and Pet Supply Store involved a heat lamp in a brooding, or incubator box, said Battalion Chief Herb Wandel.

The lamp, used to keep the chicks warm, may have been bumped or gotten too close to combustibles and sparked the fire, said Wandel.

The fire, early Friday, burned an outbuilding on the Highway 116 property.

Two fires Saturday led to the death of three dogs. One was on Chester Drive and one on the 5000 block of Highway 116.

In both cases the cause was determined to be accidental and electrical, involving portable heaters.

One of the heaters had a damaged cord, although it wasn't clear whether the damage was done prior to the fire or during it.

Placement of the heaters also appeared to be a possible factor, and Wandel warned people who use space heaters to follow directions on placement and use.

Rancho Adobe firefighters cover Cotati, Penngrove and a large swath of county north of the city of Petaluma.

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