A Lake County man and woman suffered smoke inhalation and the couple's three dogs were killed when a fire broke out Tuesday evening in their home in Nice. The cause of the 6 p.m. fire was under investigation, but it appeared to have started in or near a fireplace and destroyed the living room, Battalion Chief James Crabtree said.

The man, who apparently tried to fight the flames, burned his hands, Crabtree said. The woman stayed inside to try to rescue the dogs but eventually was forced to flee the burning structure through a bedroom window, he said.

Both were taken by ambulance to Sutter-Lakeside Hospital in Lakeport for treatment, he said.

Firefighters from the Northshore and Lakeport fire departments arrived at the house on Lakeview Drive near Tehama Street and "did a pretty fast knockdown when they got there," Crabtree said. Firefighters also retrieved one of the dogs -- a pug -- and took it for veterinary care, though it later died, he said. Two other dogs also perished in the fire, he said.