By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News
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James Krieger and his wife, Sarah Krieger, left their Salt Creek RV Park home Monday night to do errands.
Their two dogs, Minion and Cobblepot, were left alone in the house.
Next-door neighbor Evan Angenendt, 22, dog-sits for the couple when they are away.
Angenendt is known around the RV park for his willingness to help neighbors with just about any task that needs to be done, and he plays with the two dogs daily.
But Monday at about 8 p.m., Angenendt became a hero, James Krieger said.
“If he didn’t get to the fire, my house would have been burned to a crisp. He saved my two dogs and my house,” Krieger said.
That night, they Kriegers didn’t tell Angenendt they were going out.
“We didn’t think we’d be gone that long,” he said.
Both dogs are large. Minion is a 5-month-old wolf/Labrador retriever/pit bull mix, and Cobblepot is a blue tick hound/cocker spaniel cross.
When they wrestle, they get rough, Krieger said.
“They must have hit the propane switch,” he said.
A glass Pyrex dish with waxed paper had been left on top of the stove, and stationery papers were on top of a nearby microwave oven, he said.
The heat from the stove ignited the waxed paper, filling the small home with smoke and setting off the fire alarm.
A vent fan above the stove was on and reduced some of the smoke, but the dogs were alone as the fire burned.
Angenendt said he didn’t immediately realize the noise coming from next door was a fire alarm.
“I heard the alarm, but I thought it was a clock alarm,” Angenendt said.
After five minutes, he went to the Kriegers’ home to find out why no one was turning off the alarm — and found no one home.
“[The noise] got annoying, so I just went in,” Angenendt said.
When he opened the door, he found flames shooting up from the stove and into the hood, and they were licking at the papers atop the microwave.
Angenendt turned off the gas, doused the flames and opened sliding glass doors to vent the smoke, then let the dogs out.
“He got it right in time,” James Krieger said.
When the Kriegers returned home, Angenendt was taking care of the dogs, and the trailer was smoky but intact.
On Wednesday, the Kriegers’ stove still had the scars of the fire — and James had kept several envelopes that were on top of the microwave, now crisped brown from their close call with the flames.
The only thing that slowed the fire from spreading to the papers was a pizza stone that was stored next to the stove, Krieger said.
“If they had caught fire, the cabinets above would have gone up, and the whole place would have burned,” he said.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.