Fast-Moving House Fire Kills Therapy Dog

The 14-year-old Maltese was found dead in the back room

A Broadway Heights home is gutted Saturday morning in a fast-moving house fire that killed a service dog.

Denise Giusti-Bradford had left to pick her son up at the train station sometime after 1 a.m. by the time she returned, her house on the 2300 block of Laconia Street was completely engulfed.

The fire started around 2:20 a.m., according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

Firefighters said the home, packed with many belongings, complicated efforts to extinguish all of the flames.

Giusti-Bradford's son was the first to find the body of the dog, a 14-year-old Maltese, in a back room and told his mother that her service-therapy dog had perished.

"She usually goes everywhere with me but she's been getting older and sleeping more," Guisti-Bradford said.

SDFD spokeswoman Monica Munoz estimated damage to the house and belongings at roughly $300,000.

Metro Arson Strike Team Investigators haven't determined an official cause, but the homeowners were told it was likely an electrical problem near the rear of the home.

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