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An Alexandra couple are distraught after losing their dog in a house fire yesterday evening.
The couple were out when fire took hold in their Lanes Rd house and it went unnoticed until neighbours saw flames coming out of the roof.
Alexandra Chief Fire Officer Russell Anderson said a kitchen utility roller door had been pulled down on to a toaster switch, causing the toaster to turn on.
The fire was confined to the kitchen area but because the house was open-plan, the rest had been smoke-damaged, making the home uninhabitable in the meantime.
Central Otago police sub area commander Senior Sergeant Ian Kerrisk said the couple were "extremely upset" and victim support was with them while police arranged alternative accommodation and "secured" the house.
"The quick action of the brigade lessened what is unfortunately a bad situation," he said.
The Alexandra Volunteer Fire Brigade was called to the address at 6.30pm and was in attendance for about an hour and a-half.
It is understood the couple have insurance.