Election Section

News of the Weird

Friday September 13, 2002

Blaming it on the dog 


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Fire Department investigator trying to find out what sparked a $5,000 kitchen fire has come up with a beastly suspicion: the doggie did it. 

Pablo Martinez believes a trash-loving chocolate Labrador retriever named Brooke started the fire by turning on the stove while jumping to get at a garbage can. 

Martinez talked with tenant Tracy Jonas and asked her to retrace some of her actions before the fire. 

Jonas and a friend had cooked hamburgers Monday night. They put the fat in a re-sealable plastic bag and placed the bag in the trash can, where they also discarded the meat wrapper. 

“I knew Brooke’s reputation. But I thought I was being wise putting the trash can on top of a counter next to the stove,” Jonas said. “I guess Brooke was a little wiser this time.” 

After Jonas and her friend left the apartment Tuesday, “the dog apparently knocked the switch on the old stove, turning on the burner while trying to jump up and get the trash can,” Martinez said. 

The dog is fine but somewhat traumatized, Jonas said. 

“I could see that she was guilty,” the woman said. “Her tail was wagging and her head was down.”