Four pets were rescued and no one was injured in a residential fire on St. Mary's Place Thursday afternoon, Sparta Police said.
According to police, members of the Sparta and Ogdensburg fire departments were able to extinguish the structure fire that was ignited by embers in a cardboard box in the garage at about 4:20 p.m.
The home's garage suffered extensive fire damage, and the remainder of the home sustained heavy smoke and water damage, police said.
Police said Cpl. Robert Fraser first discovered the fire when he was checking on homes still without power. He noticed thick black smoke exiting from the home, and then called the police and fire departments for assistance, police said.
Fraser first checked on the home and banged on the locked front and back doors, according to police. While no one answered, Fraser could hear barks from a dog inside, police said.
Once Cpl. Andrew Smetana and Officer Brian Hassloch arrived, the three officers kicked in the front door and were able to rescue a small terrier, police said. The officers also rescued three cats in the home, and found the homeowners were not there, police said.
Police said the fire has been determinned to not be suspicious. In the initial investigation, police said they found the home lost power from Hurricane Sandy, and the homeowner was keeping the home warm by using the fireplace.
Police said the fireplace was cleaned and the embers that were placed in a cardboard box in the garage ignited several hours later and spread to the wall.