Cat's 'step aerobics' blamed for house fire in Port Townsend
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Lois Lund shows she has no hard feelings for Osiris, the 10-year-old family cat who started the fire that damaged her home early Sunday morning. -- Photo by Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

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PORT TOWNSEND -- A cat named after an Egyptian god of the afterlife is the primary suspect in a blaze that has left a family -- and presumably the cat -- homeless.

A little after midnight Sunday morning, Lois Lund was awakened by a loud popping sound in her house on the 1800 block of Kuhn Street in Port Townsend, and followed the noise into her kitchen.

It was ablaze.

She extinguished the flames with a garden hose and called East Jefferson Fire-Rescue, which determined the fire had not spread, despite extensive damage to the kitchen and the ceiling.

Fire investigator Kurt Steinbach determined the fire originated from a toaster oven that had been left on, and the culprit was the family's 10-year-old black cat, Osiris.

Lund said Osiris has been acting strangely since a dog came into the house and chased him around and had taken to sleeping on top of the toaster oven,

Lund, whose husband Duane Davis died in August, lives in the 1,000-square-foot house with her daughter, Sena Lund, who is eight months pregnant.

None were hurt in the fire. The cat escaped unscathed.

Steinbach said after the fire was extinguished, the toaster lever was found in the depressed position.

Sena Lund said Osiris was on top of the toaster oven "and probably did some step aerobics" that turned the appliance on.

Since the fire, Osiris -- who is allowed to go in and out of the house -- has spent more time outside, Lois Lund said.

The fire department estimated damage at $5,000. Lund figured that repairs will cost at least $20,000 and take three months.

The family is looking for a place to live until their home is habitable.

On Monday evening, the Lund women were taking inventory of the kitchen's contents, finding that little could be saved.

The rest of the house was not damaged, Lois Lund said.

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Jefferson County Reporter Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or charlie.bermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: November 09. 2010 12:37AM
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