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Puppy killed, home destroyed by fire on day woman moves in

OCEANSIDE, Calif. – The cause of a fast-moving fire that destroyed a woman’s Oceanside condominium the day she moved in, causing $250,000 in damage and killing her dog remained unknown Monday.

The resident and a friend left the condo in the 5600 block of Boot Way in the Jeffries Ranch neighborhood for a time after she moved in, then smelled smoke upon their return to the four-unit complex around 9:30 p.m. Sunday. They opened the front door to find “heavy black smoke and high heat conditions,” Oceanside Fire Department Battalion Chief Pete Lawrence said.

The woman attempted to enter the home to rescue her chocolate Labrador despite the fire, but couldn’t get inside before the first floor of the two-story condo erupted in flames, Lawrence said.

It took 36 firefighters from the Oceanside and Vista fire departments and the North County Fire Protection District until shortly after 10 p.m. to get the blaze under control. The resident’s dog was found dead after the fire was extinguished and its carcass was turned over to the San Diego Humane Society, according to the battalion chief.

The second floor of the unit had partially collapsed during the blaze and Lawrence said it was a total loss. Two adjoining units were damaged.

The fire caused about $250,000 in damage to the building and its contents, Lawrence said.

A fire investigator was not immediately able to determine the fire’s cause and origin, but it was believed to have burned undetected for some time before firefighters arrived, according to the battalion chief.