Chief: Family dog perished in Homer fire

Caution tape surrounds a home on East Homer-Baltimore Road, Homer, N.Y., following a structure fire (Peter Blanchard/Cortland Voice)

CORTLAND, N.Y - Investigators are working to determine the cause of a Monday afternoon fire at a family residence in East Homer.

The Homer Fire Department was called to the home at 2598 Route 13 in the town of Homer at 3:09 p.m. Monday, according to Homer Fire Chief Mahlon Irish. Firefighters arrived a few minutes later and saw smoke and fire emerging from a back window.

It took firefighters several hours to completely extinguish the blaze. While no people were inside the home at the time of the fire, the family dog was still inside the house and did not survive, Irish said.

The occupants of the home are being assisted by the Red Cross and family relatives, he said.

"There is substantial fire damage to the back of the home, and significant smoke and water damage to the rest of the home," Irish said. "The front portion of the house may be able to be saved, but we're not sure at this point."

Fire departments from Cortlandville, Truxton, and McGraw assisted the Homer Fire Department at the scene.

The Cortland County Fire Investigation Team is handling the investigation into what caused the fire.