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Dog dies as fire destroys home

MANATEE -- Firefighters placed the body of a dog on a slab of wood and wrapped it in a sheet before carrying it out of a one-bedroom home Thursday after a fire destroyed everything inside.

The fire, which remains under investigation, claimed the life of the Labrador-mix dog trapped inside and caused approximately $10,000 in damage, said Southern Manatee Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Herb Smith.

Firefighters received the call of a blazing small wooden structure in the 900 block of 30th Avenue East at about 12:30 p.m. Thursday. The fire was knocked down 18 minutes later.

No one was home when the fire started.

Neighbors watched as firefighters investigated the charred and blackened remains inside.

“That’s going to kill him,” said 26-year-old Anthony Harris, who lives near by, and thought of resident. “That was his baby.”

The home was packed full of items. Harris said he and his brother tried to enter the residence to free the dog, but flames were already escaping from the front window and sides of the residence.

Firefighters arrived on scene shortly after Harris called.

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