Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Rescue workers from Unified Fire and Draper Animal Control carry a pet dog away from a house fire in Draper Wednesday.

DRAPER — A family dog was killed and a woman was left in serious condition following a two-alarm house fire in a century-old Victorian home Wednesday.

Firefighters arriving at about 12:30 p.m. found heavy smoke pouring from the upstairs of the two-story home, near 12800 South and 950 East. Crews making an initial check of the house's interior found 50-year-old Sherry Simmons unconscious and unresponsive in an upstairs bedroom, said Unified Fire Authority Capt. Wade Russell.

Vincent Simmons, Sherry's husband, said it was his understanding that his wife was able to walk out of the house under her own power with assistance from firefighters. By the time she was outside and taken to a local hospital by medical helicopter, she was breathing on her own and talking to paramedics, Russell said.

Once the fire was out and a secondary check of the house was made, the family's 15-year-old golden Labrador, Bo, was found in a hiding spot in the same bedroom. Paramedics began CPR and gave the dog oxygen after detecting a weak pulse, but it was pronounced dead by the time it arrived at a local veterinarian clinic.

Vincent Simmons said Bo was always outside and believes his dog may have wandered in and stayed next to his wife, despite the fire, in an effort to protect her.

"He's the best dog ... the best watch dog," Vincent said. "I can't believe it."

The fire was first reported by a passer-by who noticed smoke coming from the house, which was built in 1902 and was on the Draper historic registry. Vincent Simmons said he and his family had lived there for 30 years and had restored the home.

"It was a labor of love," he said.

The fire started on a bed in the guest bedroom where Sherry Simmons was found, her husband said. The room contains her dolls and other antiques. A cause of the fire had not been determined by Wednesday afternoon, and Vincent Simmons said he was unsure what could have started it, because his wife did not smoke.

The upstairs suffered heavy fire damage, and there was smoke and water damage throughout the house, Russell said.

Vincent Simmons was taking his daughter to the doctor in Orem when he got a call from a neighbor that his house was on fire, something he didn't believe at first.

"'No, Vince, there is smoke pouring out,' she said," said Simmons.

Another person was injured outside the house, not from the fire, but from tripping over a fire hose in the street, falling and chipping her tooth, according to both Simmons and Russell.


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