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Quick wits save Animas Valley home

By Dale Rodebaugh Herald staff writer

An Animas Valley couple acted intelligently and quickly when they returned home Sunday to see smoke in their house, Karola Hanks, fire marshal for said Durango Fire & Rescue Authority.

“They turned off the electricity, got their dog out of the house, dialed 911 and grabbed a fire extinguisher,” Hanks said Monday.

Paul and Margaret Windmueller knocked down a fire that began from a defective dishwasher motor, Hanks said.

Fire damage was limited to wooden cabinetry but there was smoke damage throughout the house, located at 73 Gleneagle Drive off County Road 203, Hanks said.

Firefighters were paged at 1:30 p.m., Hanks said. Brock Fortson and Jon Wolf arrived from Station No. 6 about a mile away. Chief Dan Noonan arrived about same time on his own.

Three other engines and a medical unit also arrived, Hanks said.

The Windmuellers had left the dishwasher running when they went to Durango at 10:30 a.m., Hanks said. The malfunctioning motor melted plastics and then ignited the wood, she said.

“We advised them to take their dog, Scooby, to the vet to check for smoke inhalation,” Hanks said.

daler@durangoherald.com

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