Fire damages house; firefighters save dog

A fire mid-morning on Tuesday caused significant damage to a Vandalia home.


But as some of Vandalia’s volunteer firefighters were busy knocking down the blaze, others were working to rescue a family pet.


Firefighters were called to the home owned by Mike and Debbie Themig at 1311 Morning Glory Drive at 10:32 a.m.


Firefighters were dispatched after two employees of the city’s public works department, Kevin Elam and Mike Anderson, noticed smoke coming from the eaves at the rear of the home. Recently retired firefighter Randy Edwards also happened to be driving by the home at the same time.


Upon their arrival, some firefighters began entering the rear of the home to attack the fire in the family room. Others began searching for the pet of Kim Cearlock, a daughter of the Themigs.


The dog was found by firefighter Randy Siebert and carried outside by Chief Merle Adermann. Second Assistant Chief Keith Meadows used a department’s air pack to assist the dog with breathing.


Firefighters contained the fire to the family room, but the house sustained considerable smoke and water damage.


Fire officials believe that radiated heat from a wood-burning stove may have ignited a sofa in the family room. Damage was estimated at $55,000.


Fifteen firefighters responded to the call, and they were at the scene for about an hour.


This is the fourth time since 1991 that VVFD members have rescued a family pet.


The first of the four rescues were at the house next door to the Themig home. Firefighters rescued the family pet of the Jack Metivier family, and firefighter Kenny Lewey, a certified paramedic, gave the dog mouth-to-snout resuscitation.


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