A fire caused significant damage to a Powell family's South Ferris Street home around midday Tuesday and claimed three cats owned by the family.
Kim Dillon had returned to her house around 11:30 a.m. from running errands and found it filled with smoke.
“I called to the animals, but they didn't come,” she said.
A space heater in a basement bedroom apparently got pressed against a mattress, setting fire to it and nearby clothing, “which basically set the whole room on fire,” said Powell Fire Chief Joey Darrah. The door to the room had been closed, he said.
“It was like an oven in there,” Darrah said.
Responding Powell Volunteer Firefighters ventilated the home, located at 366 South Ferris, and hosed down the fire.
Darrah said the fire was contained to the one room, but he said other parts of the basement suffered heat damage and additional areas were damaged by smoke.
Kim Dillon said in addition to the bedroom, significant repairs will be needed on a nearby basement room and bathroom.
Three Dillon family cats died in the incident, presumably from smoke inhalation, but their two dogs survived.
The family's black and yellow Labs were reportedly unconscious when the first emergency responders arrived on scene. Darrah said firefighters got the dogs out of the home, and Powell police and city electrical workers carried them to Community Service Officer Anna Paris' van, where they were rushed to veterinary Dr. Ray Acker's office.
On Wednesday, the Dillons said their dogs appeared to be doing well and were on their way to recovery, though they were continuing to be observed.
The Dillons spent Wednesday dealing with the “horrible mess” left by the fire. As a Tribune reporter spoke with the Dillons Wednesday afternoon, a man arrived to collect the family's smoke-filled clothes for cleaning.
The home was insured, Kim Dillon said, and the insurance company was putting them up at the Best Value Inn.
“Luckily, I've got lots of family here,” added Kim's husband, Flynn.
Efforts are underway to set up a benefit fund for the Dillons, but as of press time Wednesday, details had not been finalized.