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Juniper Canyon home burns; 50 puppies, dogs rescued


A home in Juniper Canyon southeast of Prineville was heavily damaged by a fire Friday afternoon and two people suffered smoke inhalation, but about 50 dogs and puppies at a breeding kennel on the property were rescued unharmed, Crook County sheriff’s deputies said.

Crook County Fire and Rescue crews, as well as BLM firefighters and sheriff’s deputies, were dispatched shortly after 3 p.m. to the 12800 block of Southeast Davis Loop on a reported structure fire, said sheriff’s Sgt. Ryan Seaney. They arrived to find most of the home engulfed in flames.

The homeowner, Sylvia Whitmore, was later determined not to have been in the home when the fire broke out, the sergeant said.

Whitmore owns a breeding kennel at the address, he said, and sheriff’s deputies helped citizens evacuate about 50 adult dogs and puppies away from the fire. Firefighters eventually were able to contain the fire and extinguish it before it spread to neighboring properties.

Fire Chief Matt Smith said the small two-story home was engulfed when crews arrived. Nearly a dozen Crook County firefighters responded while two BLM wildland engines helped with a small fire that had spread to the wildland. The home and several outbuildings were a total loss.

Seaney later explained the kennel was in two complexes, one near the home and garage that burned, but that deputies got the dogs out of. A second was across the driveway, threatened as the wind pushed the fire in that direction, had it continued.

“The fire was at the edge of the driveway and was threatening to jump the driveway at the time firefighters were able to get it out,” he told NewsChannel 21.

Seaney also said he’s unaware of any investigation into the kennel and that “the dogs were in good shape” when authorities were on scene. He noted Whitmore”has a lot of help to take care of the dogs over the years. They are a sought-after miniature breed that she raises, and she has been doing it for many years.”

Fire medics treated one citizen on scene for smoke inhalation suffered while rescuing the dogs, Seaney said. An off-duty sheriff’s deputy also was treated for smoke inhalation, having spotted the fire and tried to enter the rear of the home to locate Whitmore, before she was found elsewhere.

The cause of the fire was under investigation. The American Red Cross was contacted to help Whitmore with her needs in the aftermath of the fire.

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