Firefighters rescued two dogs early Thursday from a fire that destroyed a two-story house where a natural gas line feeding the fire had to be dug up before it could be shut off, officials reported.
The dogs were in a garage next to the house at 6 Maere Court in the Briardale subdivision, north of Infinity Road in northern Durham.
The garage was all that was left standing when the last flames could be put out, said Deputy Chief Chris Iannuzzi, fire department spokesman.
The house was engulfed in flames when the first trucks arrived after the blaze was reported at 12:10 a.m., Iannuzzi said.
The homeowners were away, neighbors told officials.
Neighbors took in one of the dogs, and the other was taken to Durham County Animal Control for care, Iannuzzi said.
It took firefighters from the Durham and Lebanon departments about 45 minutes to control most of the fire, Iannuzzi said, but it took digging by a crew from PSNC to shut off the gas.
The last firefighters were able to leave the scene about 5 a.m.
Investigators were determining how the fire began.