Family of Four Escapes House Fire, Two Pets Die

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A Van Buren family was forced out of their home Wednesday morning after a fire sparked in their kitchen.

Firefighters say the fire sparked at approximately 2:30 a.m. Wednesday at a home on Williams Street. The fire originated from a stove in the kitchen, according to the Van Buren Fire Department.

Sarah Gordon said she and her husband, Alex, awoke to the sound of the smoke detector. Alex Gordon followed the smoke to the kitchen.

"It was just huge," said Sarah of the fire. "It had already overwhelmed the entire kitchen."

Sarah and Alex, along with their two children Eleanor, 6, and Silas, 4, escaped the fire and were not injured, according to Gordon’s mother.

However, the family's dog, 1-year-old dog, Sweetie Pie, and JD, a 7-month-old cat, both died of smoke inhalation, according to the family.

"We had an English Bulldog that was sitting on the sofa, and she wouldn't come out with me," said Sarah Gordon. "It flared up right in my face and I just had to leave her."

The family later found the cat's body under the bed.

Van Buren Firefighters quickly responded and broke the front windows of the home to pull a hose in.  They managed to contain the fire to the kitchen and front room.

"The guys did a great job of getting that fire out," said Stanley Clark, Staff Officer with the Van Buren Fire Department. "It was just a few minutes away from being really, really bad."

Responders with the Van Buren Dept. said they were able to salvage some of the family’s belongings.

Sarah Gordon says the loss has been traumatic for her two young children.

"Eleanor had to come home from school," Sarah said. "She was throwing up, she was really upset."

The family has relatives in the area they plan to stay with.  The Red Cross went to the home to assist those living there.