UPDATE Cause determined in Sunday house fire in Martinsville

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A cause has been determined in Sunday's fire at 918 Chalmers Street in Martinsville.

According to Martinsville Fire & EMS, it is believed that an unnoticed leak from an upstairs kitchen sink drain allowed water to drip onto electrical equipment in the basement of the home below the kitchen, which later caused the fire.


A scary situation for one Martinsville family on Sunday. Not only did their home catch fire, but one of their pets was trapped inside. That is, until firefighters came to the rescue.

It was just before 11:00 Sunday morning when a fire started in the basement of the home, and spread to the kitchen.

Luckily, the husband, wife, and Chihuahua made it out of the home, but the dachshund, Bubba, was trapped inside.

"The husband did attempt to go back in to rescue the second dog, Bubba, but fortunately he second-guessed and did not go in," says Martinsville Fire Chief, Ted Anderson.

When Martinsville firefighters arrived, the husband told them exactly where to find Bubba. He was in his crate.

Firefighters were able to find him right away.

"Barely breathing and unresponsive when we did find him," says Anderson.

Bubba was treated just like any human with breathing problems. Firefighters hooked him up to an oxygen machine.

"After several minutes of placing medical oxygen on Bubba he did begin to blink his eyes. He did begin to move around," says Anderson.

Kim Wheeler, the daughter of the homeowners, says even though their home suffered a lot of damage, she's happy her family is okay.

"It was very touching because you think of firemen taking care of people, but when you see them taking care of your pets, and they are family too, it's just very overwhelming the care," she says.

Bubba was taken to a veterinarian in Chatham, where he remained Monday. He does have a touch of pneumonia, but he's expected to be okay.

Repairs to the family home could take up to six months. Wheeler says all of that can be replaced.

She's just blessed to have a great community to call home.

"I thank everyone in my hometown for everything that you have done for my family and I," she says.

Red Cross is assisting the family while the home is being repaired. The fire department is still investigating the cause of the fire but they do believe it was accidental.