Danville, VA - A late night fire woke the neighbors on a sleepy Danville street.
Ray Willis lives just next door to the house where four occupants narrowly escaped the flames pouring from the kitchen.
"The main thing is they got away and it didn't spread no farther than it did, " Willis said, but one member of the family did not survive.
Firefighters found their 12-year-old dog Sadie hiding in a back bedroom, but they could not save her.
"They're real devastated because the dog meant a lot to them and they loved him to death, " said Willis.
Unattended cooking was to blame, making this just one of many cooking-related fires in the last several months.
"We average sometime two or three a week and those are just the ones we know about, " said Danville Fire Marshal Shelby Irving.
Irving says the biggest mistakes she sees are pots and pans left on top of the stove with no one watching.
She says leaving food inside the oven is okay, but it should never be left too long.
"You're oven is self contained, it's not going to go anywhere, but definitely check on it, " said Irving.
Firefighters say the best way to stop these preventable fires is to slow down and pay attention in the kitchen.
"It's so many things now to take your attention away from what you're doing. You have the Internet, the cell phone, the television, the children, the laundry, but anytime you're using anything to heat up, I would be very cautious, " said Irving.
Irving says she has not seen any fires started by crockpots left on during the day, but she says she would not leave any hot appliance on for that amount of time in her home.
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