Update: Dog house heat malfunction blamed for rural home blaze

Toledo and Tama firefighters work to extinguish a house fire north of Toledo Monday night, Jan. 20. News-Herald/John Speer

Fire spread from a heated dog house to the rural residence of Erica Behounek in the 2200 block of U.S. Highway 63, eight miles north of Toledo, on Monday night, Jan. 20 about 7:30 p.m. The occupant was not at home at the time.

Toledo Fire Chief Kendall Jordan said either the wiring or the heating device caused the blaze which did an estimated $20,000 damage confined mainly to the back porch area.

Tama Police Chief Jason Bina happened by the scene around 7:30 p.m. and said upon determining it was the structure on fire, he radioed Tama County Dispatch to send the Toledo and Tama fire departments.

Bina was able to rescue the dog and tied it to a tree a safe distance away.

According to a social media report on Facebook by the Tama County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Sheriff Brandon Boldt arrived shortly after Bina’s report and was able to use his fire extinguisher to knock down the blaze until the fire departments arrived.