Carlotta Family Loses Home and ‘Furbabies’ to Fire


Flames consume Molly Cook’s home in the Carlotta area on Saturday. [Photo by Jim Hinrichs Safety Officer, FVFD]

This weekend, a home in the Carlotta area burned down. Firefighters had to break a window to free the family’s 19-year-old son and multiple pets died in the blaze.

“I lost eight dogs and two kittens,” explained Molly Cook the residence’s owner. “I do animal rescue and all my furbabies were in there. One dog’s face is burned…I had 16 dogs and I lost eight.”

Cook wasn’t home when the fire started. “My daughter and I had volunteered at the North Coast Stand Down. I was the housing coordinator and I spent the night,” she explained.

The fire started mid-morning Saturday in a shed connected to house. Cook raised baby chickens there. She thinks a heating lamp for the chicks might have started the blaze. “This house was a old cook shack for the railroad,” she said. “It is all redwood…. It just kills me…We bought it a year and a half ago. We were doing remodeling.”

“My husband left the house while my 19-year-old was asleep,” she explained.

Her son woke up to flames outside his room. He tried to get out the window but it was stuck. He broke one of the small panes in his window. When he did that, it alerted the fire crews that someone was inside. “They had to take him out through the window,” Cook explained. “I appreciate so much the fireman that were able to get my son out of his room. [My son and I] both know he could have died.”

Cook credits the fire crews with stopping the fire from spreading much further. “I’m just happy they stopped it,” she said. “It’s so dry it could have kept going.”

“To the neighbor who, when one of our outside dogs ran away, held her until my daughter could go get her. To the person who called the fire in. To the firefighters, thank you.”

Cook’s daughter-in-law set up a GoFundMe page and Cook isn’t quite comfortable with the situation. “We’re always been the ones who help everyone else,” she said.

Cook said that to her possessions weren’t very important. “We have family and friends. All we lost is personal items and those can be replaced,” Cook said quietly. Then, she added, “I could have handled the house burning but it’s the furbabies that gets me.”




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