A dog and four cats were victims of smoke inhalation after a house caught fire on the east side of Temple Friday afternoon.

Firefighters were dispatched to the 1100 block of South 24th Street at 2:36 PM. There, they saw heavy smoke and flames issuing from a wood frame house.

Neighbors said the occupant wasn't home, but firefighter swept the building to be sure. Inside, they found a dog and four cats who had passed away after inhaling heavy smoke.

The occupant returned home as firefighters were battling the fire. Due to the extensive smoke and flame damage, the interior of the home is considered a total loss, and the American Red Cross is assisting the occupant of the home.

Investigators determined that the fire was started by a shorted electric water heater.

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