Dogs alert sleeping residents to Christmas tree fire

MONROE, Wash. - Investigators say a Saturday morning fire inside a home in Monroe started in a Christmas tree.

Officials say a dog alerted sleeping residents to a fire that began shortly after 8 a.m. in the 15300 block of 182nd Avenue SE. Both residents and their pets escaped without injury and were aided by Red Cross workers.

Nineteen firefighters from Monroe, Sultan and Maltby battled the flames that caused extensive damage to the home.

"This is a great time to remind people to ensure that holiday lighting should be unplugged before going to bed," said Monroe Fire Marshal Michael Fitzgerald. "Live Christmas trees must be watered, and should be removed from the home following the holiday. Additionally, never wind or tie an electrical cord around itself. This can lead to unsafe heating of the electrical cords."

The fire was estimated to have caused approximately $85,000 in damages.